14 April 2015
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is the biggest corporate entity in China. It is state owned. CNPC is the parent company of PetroChina Limited, Asia’s biggest oil producer. Jiang Jiemin was the chief of CNPC. He was appointed in 2013 to the Cabinet body that oversees China’s state-run companies. Five months later in September 2013, he was removed from his post after he came under investigations.
Jiang Jiemin appeared Monday in the Hanjiang Intermediate court in Hubei Province. He was charged last month with accepting bribes, possession of assets disproportionate to his declared income and abuse of power. His assets were estimated to be more than $2.3 million. Trail lasted only one day because Jiang admitted his guilt and apologised to the court. The court said that he had legal representation but did not name the counsel.
Since President Xi Jinping came to power a number of senior persons from China’s oil industry have been detained under suspicion of corruption.
Jiang Jiemin was connected to Zhou Yongkang, former national security chief. Mr. Zhou is now on retirement. He has been under investigations for corruption. He is the highest ranking general to come under corruption scrutiny.
Jiang Jiemin was the protégé of Zhou Yongkang. It was alleged in Jiang Jiemin’s trial that he, entrusted by Zhou, awarded projects for oil and gas exploration, gas turbine generators and natural gas supplies between 2004 and 2008.
It would appear that the prosecutors, by showing the connection between Zhou and Jiang, are trying to pave the way for Zhou’s trial which is expected to happen any time soon. Zhou’s trial will not be as simple as this trial. Zhou has a support base in the party and the army. He has ‘helped’ many during his days of power. Those who were obliged to him show their allegiance despite fear from the government.