The missing Chinese general was found dead in apparent suicide



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Zhang Yang, then head of the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army, in Beijing in 2014.

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China Stringer Network, via Reuters

PEKIN – A Chinese general who disappeared from public view during a corruption investigation by senior military commanders was found dead at his home in Beijing after apparently committing suicide, state media reported on Tuesday .

General Zhang Yang committed suicide on November 23, the state news agency Xinhua said, citing the Central Military Commission of China. The Xinhua report said that Mr. Zhang lived in his house while being interrogated in connection with unspecified corruption charges.

Mr. Zhang, 66, who had been director of the political department of the People's Liberation Army, disappeared from public view more than two months ago in the middle of a campaign against the corruption of President Xi Jinping. In addition to Mr. Zhang, General Fang Fenghui, a rising star in the Chinese army, also disappeared from public view.

Mr. Zhang committed "serious violations of discipline and law and was suspected of bribery offenses, as well as large amounts of badets in which sources are unknown," the Xinhua report said.

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The Xinhua report said that at the time of his death, Mr. Zhang was being investigated for links with Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, the two highest-ranking army commanders so far recorded in the suppression of Mr. Xi . Mr. Xi has used the anti-kill campaign to eliminate dozens of generals and reinforce his control over the army, one of the most powerful institutions in China.

Mr. Guo received a life sentence last year after a military court found him guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for promotions and transfers. Mr. Xu died in 2015 of bladder cancer while awaiting a trial for corruption.

Mr. Xi has used the offensive to modernize the People's Liberation Army by ridding it of endemic corruption and elevating the professionalism of its officer corps, as older generals are replaced by younger officers who support change.

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