Chinese official who led coronavirus operations in Wuhan faces probe

China’s top security official who supervised Wuhan’s coronavirus prevention efforts is investigated by Beijing’s anti-corruption watchdog

  • Sun Lijun, 51, faces probe for alleged corruption by China’s discipline watchdog
  • He was appointed to lead the security affairs in Wuhan during the outbreak
  • The Chinese deputy public security minister was last seen in public in March
  • Sun’s case comes as another former security official was arrested for bribery
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

China’s deputy public security minister, who was sent by Beijing to supervise the security affairs in Wuhan during the coronavirus epidemic, is being investigated by the country’s main anti-corruption body, the authority has said.

Sun Lijun is said to be probed for ‘serious violations of discipline and the law’, a euphemism for corruption.

The notice, published late Sunday by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, did not give details on the alleged wrongdoings.

Sun Lijun was being investigated for ‘serious violations of discipline and the law’ – a euphemism for corruption – according to China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. He is pictured at a press conference for coronavirus operations in Wuhan

Security guards are pictured locking the gate of the Forbidden City which remains closed following the new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing yesterday

Sun, 51, was last seen in early March in Wuhan, the former centre of the COVID-19 pandemic, the official People’s Public Security Daily reported. 

On March 7, Sun attended an oath ceremony of two female police officers after personally recommending them for party membership, saying he was touched by their hard work during the lockdown. 

He had also visited Hubei province – where nearly 3,900 have died from COVID-19 in February to encourage frontline police officers, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

Sun’s official biography also says that he graduated from the University of New South Wales in Australia with a master’s degree in public health management.

On top of his main role, Sun was appointed director of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan office under the ministry of public security in December 2017.

Hong Kong was shaken by widespread and sometimes violent street protests last year, sparked by a now-abandoned proposal to allow extraditions from the semi-autonomous city to the Chinese mainland.

A growing number of Communist Party cadres have been caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies.

A growing number of Communist Party cadres have been caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies. Xi is pictured at APEC Haus during the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum

On top of his main role, Sun was appointed director of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan office under the ministry of public security in December 2017. A banner is seen as anti-government demonstrators march in protest against the invocation of the emergency laws in Hong Kong on October 14, 2019

The graft probe targeting Sun follows the high-profile arrest of Meng Hongwei, the former Interpol president who also served as a deputy security minister in China.

Meng disappeared during a trip to China from France in September 2018, and was jailed for more than 13 years in January after pleading guilty to abusing his position and taking over $2million (£1.6million) in bribes.

The Communist Party committee of the public security ministry – an important decision-making body of which Sun was a member – said it ‘unanimously expressed its firm support’ for the investigation into Sun.

‘Sun’s investigation on suspicion of serious violations of discipline and law is the inevitable result of his long-term disregard of the party’s political discipline and rules, and his failure to observe discipline, disregard rules, ignorance, and wanton behaviour,’ the committee said in a statement.

The graft probe targeting Sun follows the high-profile arrest of Meng Hongwei, the former Interpol president who also served as a deputy security minister in China. FILE: Meng (centre) is pictured during his sentencing at the court in the Chinese city of Tianjin on January 21

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