Expert at academy of military sciences accused of aiding ethnic-Chinese rebel forces, according to sources familiar with the case
A senior Chinese military strategist has been investigated for allegedly leaking state secrets, helping armed rebels in Myanmar in their fight against government forces, plus fraud, according to three independent sources familiar with the case.
Major General Huang Xing, the former head of the research guidance department at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, was detained for “serious disciplinary violations” earlier this year, a form of words often used by the Communist Party to describe allegations of corruption.
He was among the 14 generals the PLA Daily announced on Monday had been detained for alleged graft or related crimes over the last two months.
A source close to the academy said Huang’s chief offence was violating military discipline by allegedly leaking state secrets to rebels in the Kokang region of northern Myanmar during fighting in the Southeast Asian nation in 2009.
The main rebel force in Kokang is the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, who are ethnic-Chinese and once formed part of Communist Party forces in the region.
“He [Huang] was arrested recently and charged with committing fraud,” an academic source said, but gave no further details.
Another source who claimed to be Huang’s friend told the South China Morning Post that the major general was charged with “swindling 1 million yuan” (HK$1.25 million).
The details are not clear, but the friend suggested the allegation was a pretext to take Huang down.
“One million yuan should not be a strong enough reason to charge a major general. Other generals facing corruption investigations have all allegedly received much more than that,” the friend said.
“Huang’s family already turned in the 1 million yuan, but the authorities still went ahead and charged him. I suspect somebody is just waiting for an opportunity to bring him down.”
The PLA Daily reported that Huang was investigated by the military graft-busters in January over “serious disciplinary violations”.
His case has been passed to military judicial institutions, it added. The military newspaper did not mention Huang’s alleged relationship with Kokang rebels.
The People’s Liberation Army strictly forbids officials contacting foreign military personnel without prior approval.
Myanmar’s chief of military affairs security last month alleged that Kokang rebel forces had received training and advice from former Chinese soldiers during a recent upsurge in fighting.
He also hinted the rebels had received support from China. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing and the Kokang rebel leader denied the claim.
“I was surprised when I read Huang’s name on the list of the 14 disgraced generals,” said Professor Arthur Ding Shu-fan, a PLA expert at the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies.
“Huang is quite famous for his research work on military strategies. As a military scholar, I don’t think he would be implicated in corruption because he doesn’t have many opportunities to take bribes.”
Two retired senior colonels said Huang’s detention was a combination of various factors.
They said Huang’s involvement with the Kokang rebels was a “political mistake” and an embarrassment to the PLA hierarchy.
“The fact that this is not mentioned [in the PLA Daily report] suggests that the top leaders may feel embarrassed. Instead they picked up another convenient charge to punish him with,” one of the retired officers said.