World News

Former top Chinese leader gets life in prison on corruption charges

Posted May 7, 2018 10:15 p.m. EDT

— Sun Zhengcai, a former top Chinese Communist Party official who was once considered a potential successor to President Xi Jinping, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of taking bribes.

Sun, a former Chongqing Communist party chief, told the court he would accept the ruling and not appeal it, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

Last month, Sun admitted to accepting more than 170 million yuan ($27 million) between 2002 and 2017, in both property and cash, when he held various posts across China.

Sun was a former member of China's powerful Politburo and considered a future leader at the time of his downfall.

When he was first came under investigation by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in July, the move was seen as an example of Xi consolidating power.

Xi has promoted his massive dragnet as a way to stamp out corruption throughout China. More than 1 million officials have been brought down since it began in late 2012.

But analysts say the Chinese President, considered one of the country's most powerful leaders in years, has used the crackdown to eliminate some of his rivals.