The Central Military Commission has launched an audit of former naval commander Wu Shengli, according to a military notice.
The notice, which was posted on a public bulletin board, was shared by military historian Cai Xiaoxin on his Weibo account on Thursday.
It was issued by the commission’s audit department and said a team would be sent in coming weeks to audit Wu’s “economic responsibilities”. It also included contact information for the public to share information with the team.
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Li Li, a professional auditor who has worked for the government, said state auditors examined the finances of specific accounts but unlike corruption investigators had no judicial authority.
“Auditors can only examine the financial aspects [of a case] and they have no judicial power to question or detain anyone who is the subject of the audit,” Li said.
“They can only pass on any information to [the Communist Party’s] disciplinary departments for further investigation if necessary.”
Wu, 75, served as naval commander from August 2006 to January 2017, when China’s navy went through rapid expansion, including the commissioning of the country’s first aircraft carrier.
He stepped down in early 2017. It is a normal procedure for retiring officials to face government audits.
The commission recently issued a new regulation which lays down specific guidelines on the auditing of the top brass of the military. The new rules, which come into effect on Wednesday, state that all senior military leaders, including those who have already left their posts, must face government audits. The results of the assessments must be reported to the commission’s leadership for appraisal.
In the past two years, Beijing has stepped up inspections and management of naval-related programmes.
In June 2018, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced that Sun Bo, general manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, was under investigation for alleged serious disciplinary violations.
Six months later, Sun was expelled from the party and from public office.
In July last year, Sun was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of accepting bribes and abuse of power.
Last month, CSIC chairman Hu Wenming was put under investigation for alleged violations of discipline.
CSIC built China’s aircraft carriers well as several types of frigates, nuclear submarines, and other major military vessels.
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This article China’s former navy chief Wu Shengli to face audit first appeared on South China Morning Post