Life sentence given to former top Chinese politician Sun Zhengcai

Life sentence given to former top Chinese politician Sun Zhengcai

The court on Tuesday said Sun should have been a role model, but instead ignored the law and destroyed normal order in duties at the government organizations.

Prosecutors also accused Sun of taking advantage of his position to seek profits for others in project bidding, project approval, enterprise operation and personnel promotion.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and expressed repentance, according to Tianjin's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, which imposed his sentence less than one month after the trial opened in a relatively swift resolution of the case.

Sun Zhengcai was once tipped as a possible leader of the generation to succeed President Xi Jinping. Sun was sent to Chongqing to fill the void left by Bo, but he failed to wipe out his predecessor's "lingering pernicious influence", Communist Party of China investigators determined.

Sun said he admits his crimes and is sincerely repentant.

At the time of his removal, Mr. Sun was the youngest member of the Politburo and ran the inland megacity of Chongqing, and Mr. Xi was preparing for a Communist Party congress in the fall that would help him consolidate power and promote allies to senior posts.

During last year's National Congress, Xi vowed to continue his anti-corruption campaign, claiming "he fight against corruption has formed an overwhelming posture and strengthened in development".

During the conference, Sun, and a former party boss in Chongqing, Bo Xilai, were accused of being part of a plot to usurp the power of the Communist Party. Despite the fact that the campaign has been effective in prosecuting officials, some critics perceived this major ant-corruption crackdown as the president's way of eliminating his political rivals.

China's parliament also removed the two-term limit for the president paving the way for Xi to continue in power for life.

Xi would have had to give up the presidency after the end of his second term in 2023, but last year's decision Xi can now have a lifetime to push his vision of a rejuvenated China as a global powerhouse with a "world-class" military.

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