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Chinese Army general probed for graft 'committed suicide'

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2017-11-28 12:12

A senior Chinese military official committed suicide on Thursday morning after coming under investigation from disciplinary watchdogs over bribery allegations, it was reported on Tuesday.

General Zhang Yang, 66, hanged himself at home while the investigation was ongoing, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.

Zhang was a member of the Central Military Commission and head of its Political Work Department until he was replaced in September by General Miao Hua. No explanation for the reshuffle was given at the time.

The general is believed to be the first member of the Central Military Commission to have died by suicide, as well as the highest-ranking officer with the People's Liberation Army to take their own life.

Xinhua's report said Zhang was placed under investigation on Aug 28 and was suspected to be involved in cases related to Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, both former vice-chairmen of the commission found guilty of corruption.

Investigators later determined the general had "severely violated Party regulations and State laws" and had "given and taken bribes", the report said.

Zhang, a native of Hebei province, joined the PLA in 1968. The early part of his career has not been disclosed, but it is known that he became involved in political work for the PLA Ground Force in the mid-1990s.

He was appointed political commissar of the former Guangzhou Military Command in 2007, and later that year was elected to the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

In October 2012, he was named head of the former PLA General Political Department, predecessor of the Political Work Department, and a month later was elected to the 18th CPC Central Committee and given a seat on the Central Military Commission.

Since Xi Jinping was elected as leader of the Party, nation and military in 2012, a sweeping anti-corruption campaign inside the military has brought down more than 100 officers at the rank of major general or higher, according to the military's disciplinary watchdog.

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