China to prosecute former head of Xinjiang border guards


BEIJING (AP) — Prosecutors plan to bring charges of selling promotions against the former head of border guards in China’s strategically key northwestern region of Xinjiang, the ruling Communist Party said Tuesday.

Zhang Genheng has been expelled from the party and the military, and his case has been sent to prosecutors, according to a notice on the website of the party’s anti-corruption watchdog.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection also said that an investigation found that Zhang had accepted bribes and favors in return for commissioning soldiers for officers’ school, appointing college students to positions in the internal security forces and otherwise abusing his rank.

“Zhang Genheng severely violated organizational and anti-corruption discipline,” the commission said.

Beijing has invested enormous resources in the security of Xinjiang, which borders Afghanistan, Pakistan and several unstable Central Asian countries plagued by insurgencies and terrorism.

Xinjiang itself has seen a number of violent attacks by extremist Muslim separatists among the native Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) population, some of whom Beijing says received training or inspiration from outside China’s borders.

The move to prosecute Zhang underscores President Xi Jinping’s determination to uproot corruption across government, including in the military, which has long had a reputation for the sale of positions, embezzlement and abuse of perks granted to officers.

Among the highest-ranking targets of the campaign is the former vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong, who is accused of accepting bribes to grant promotions and other benefits.

Another former commission vice chairman, Xu Caihou, had been indicted on charges of taking bribes and brokering promotions prior to his death from cancer earlier this year.

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