Chinese tycoon Ren Zhiqiang jailed on corruption charges

 Ren was investigated by Chinese Communist Party on discipline charges

Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of Huayuan, a state-owned real estate group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption, bribery, and embezzlement of public funds. He was also fined 4.2million yuan (£484,485) fine.

According to Chinese government statement Ren "voluntarily and truthfully confessed all his crimes". The verdict also accused him of abusing power at Huayuan.

Some experts and commentators are linking this sentence with the internal struggle at the top. Ren was not a outsider but considered in the inner circle of the CPC before he fell out with president Xi. He was considered more on the right  pro-business. 

Back in March, the retired property executive went missing after writing a critical essay about the COVID-19 outbreak. The Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog launched an investigation into Ren in April before the trial opened at a Beijing court on September 11.

His essay took aim at a speech Xi made on 23 February, and said it revealed a “crisis of governance” in the party without mentioning Xi by name.

A translated version of the essay said, ‘This epidemic has revealed the fact that the Party and government officials only care about protecting their own interests, and the monarch only cares about protecting their interests and core position,’ Ren wrote, without naming Xi.

He added: ‘Standing there was not an emperor showing off his new clothes, but a clown stripped of clothes who insisted on being an emperor.’

“The reality shown by this epidemic is that the party defends its own interests, the government officials defend their own interests, and the monarch only defends the status and interests of the core.”

In 2016, Ren was put on probation for a year as punishment for his public criticism of government policy. His social media accounts, which had tens of millions of followers, were shut down.

                                                             Web Desk


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