Lieutenant General Gu Junshan

Rumours have been circulating on Chinese online media that Lieutenant General Gu Junshan, deputy head of the General Logistics Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was detained on 19 January 2012 on charges of  “economic problems,” a Chinese euphemism that implies corruption. He was detained by the military watchdog, a day after he attended a Spring Festival reception for military veterans. The General Logistics Department has oversight over the military’s real estate and other assets.

General Liu Yuan, the political commissar of the General Logistics Department, has played a key role in this incident, said the South China Morning Post. Last month, he condemned corruption in the armed forces and threatened to make a crackdown on it.

Corruption in the PLA was widely known. This new development is seen by some insiders as a sign of a power struggle in the military ahead of the upcoming transfer of power from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping, the current vice-president. Gen Liu is said to be close to Xi Jinping and Bo Xilai, one of the top contenders for new leadership positions.

All reports and discussions of Lt Gen Gu’s detention last week on social media sites in China have been deleted.
Bo Xilai, the party secretary of Chongqing municipality is seen to be trying to climb the leadership ladder through campaigns against organised crime and corruption.