BEIJING: A huge designer property in Beijing and millions of dollars stashed in seafood boxes – a state-run television drama about China’s anti-corruption drive captivates viewers and lifts the lid on officials accused of corruption.
A staggering number of communist cadres have been caught up in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive in recent years, which critics say has also served as a means of weeding out political enemies since he came to power in 2013.
The five-part series aired by state broadcaster CCTV shows televised confessions from officials accused of corruption, including former deputy public security minister Sun Lijun.
Sun – who oversaw security in Hong Kong during months of unrest – faces allegations that include taking bribes, stock market manipulation, illegal possession of firearms and payment of sex.
The TV series claimed that Sun regularly received kickbacks worth $14 million disguised as “little cans of seafood” from a man he later named chief executive. police in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
“I helped him all the way,” Sun said on the program.
It is common practice for CCTV to air “confessions” from criminal suspects, including former officials, before they even appear in court – something widely condemned by rights groups.
Another episode featured jailed Chen Gang of the China Association for Science and Technology – who allegedly built a 72,000 square meter (775,000 sq ft) private compound with a Chinese-style residence, swimming pool and beach. artificial with illicit funds.
Others have been accused of taking millions in bribes.
Those found guilty of corruption can be stripped of their wealth, of their party membership and risk a lifetime behind bars or even death.
So far, more than a million civil servants have been punished under the anti-corruption drive, which has been a cornerstone of Xi’s tenure.
Wang Fuyu, who appeared in the second episode of the series, was sentenced to death suspended for two years on Monday, a day after his confession was broadcast.
Hundreds of millions of people took to social media in China to dissect the series, most angered by the luxuries officials had enjoyed.