Ren Zhiqiang: Chinese tycoon imprisoned for 18 years for accusing Xi Jinping of handling coronavirus

Ren Zhiqiang: Chinese tycoon imprisoned for 18 years for accusing Xi Jinping of handling coronavirus
Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real estate tycoon, has close ties with senior Chinese officials. Disappeared in March He wrote a mean essay that month criticizing Xi’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He was later charged with corruption-related crimes.

On Tuesday, a court in Beijing was convicted of a number of charges including embezzlement of about $16.3 million (11.6 million yuan) from public funds, bribery, and abuse of power that resulted in a total loss of $17.2 million (11.6 million yuan) to the country. I took it down. The proprietary property company he once headed for.

The judge sentenced him to 18 years in prison and fined him $620,000 (4.2 million yuan). The court said he “voluntarily confessed all his crimes” and “willingly accepted the court ruling after all illegal gains were restored.”

China’s court system is convicted of about 99%. According to legal observers, And corruption charges are often used to chase communist insiders who have violated the leadership.

Ren’s conviction and heavy sentence appear to be designed to send a message to Chinese elite members that public criticism or rebellion against Xi will not be tolerated as China continues to deal with the consequences of the epidemic and faces strong international pressure from the United States. Etc.

‘cannon’

Born into a communist ruling elite, 69-year-old Ren often spoke outright about Chinese politics much more than allowed in authoritarian states.

His frankness earned him the nickname “The Cannon” on Chinese social media.

In the essay Issued in MarchThe author, widely attributed to Len, criticized the party’s crackdown on freedom of speech and intolerance to opposition. The essay did not mention Xi by name, but it obliquely referred to the country’s supreme leader as a power-hungry “clown”.

“I saw the emperor standing there not showing off his’new clothes’, but rather a clown taking off his clothes and claiming that he would continue to be emperor,” Len wrote Xi Jinping’s speech to 170,000 officials across the country. Pandemic control measures on February 23rd.

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The essay accused the Communist Party of putting its interests ahead of the safety of the Chinese people and guaranteeing governance.

Ren wrote, “Without a medium that represents the interests of the people by posting facts, people’s lives are being devastated by viruses and major diseases of the system.”

Shortly after the essay was posted online, Ren disappeared and his relatives feared he was detained. Authorities said Ren Investigation of allegations related to corruption in early AprilIn July, the Communist Party expelled a longtime member, paving the way for criminal prosecution.

This is not the first time that Len has clashed with the Chinese leadership for conveying his heart.

In 2016, he was disciplined after questioning Xi Jinping’s social media demand that China’s state-run media should be absolutely loyal to the party. He received a year of probation because of the party member and his popular account was closed on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter in China.

But this time, it doesn’t appear that Ren has a second chance. If he sentenced him to full sentence, he would be in his late 80s until his release.

CNN’s James Griffiths, Nectar Gan, and Ben Westcott contributed to the report.

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About the Author: Mortimer Nelson

Evil tv buff. Troublemaker. Coffee practitioner. Unapologetic problem solver. Bacon ninja. Thinker. Professional food enthusiast.

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