Ren Zhiqiang: Outspoken ex-real property tycoon will get 18 years jail

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A picture made available on 29 February 2016 shows Ren Zhiqiang Image copyright EPA
Image caption Ren Zhiqiang went lacking in March this 12 months after an essay about China’s dealing with of the virus

A former actual property tycoon and an outspoken critic of China’s President Xi Jinping has been sentenced to 18 years in jail on fees of corruption.

A court docket in Beijing discovered Ren Zhiqiang “guilty of corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds”, stated state media outlet the Global Times.

He will even must pay a advantageous of 4.2m yuan (£482,950;$620,000).

Ren went lacking in March this 12 months shortly after writing an essay stated to be vital of President Xi.

Although it didn’t instantly identify President Xi, it was extensively believed to be about him.

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court stated Ren had accepted bribes value 1.25m and embezzled almost 50m yuan.

He is claimed to have “voluntarily” confessed to all fees and won’t enchantment towards the choice.

The former chairman of the Hua Yuan Property Company was not merely a enterprise tycoon. The son of a ministry official, he was additionally recognized to have shut ties with senior social gathering leaders and was ready from which his criticisms of the social gathering could be significantly potent.

Rights teams have constantly accused China of utilizing corruption fees as a method to clamp down on dissent.

‘Anti-Communist Party’ ideas

Ren’s sharply vital essay had been about Beijing’s dealing with of the virus outbreak, and got here after a televised speech by President Xi.

He didn’t instantly consult with Mr Xi in his essay, however in keeping with a report within the China Digital Times, stated: “I too am curiously and conscientiously studying [the] speech… what I saw [was] not an emperor standing there but a clown.”

Shortly after the essay was printed, it was introduced that Ren had been put underneath investigation for “suspected serious disciplinary violations”.

Beijing later introduced that he had been expelled from the Communist Party.

This just isn’t the primary time Ren, who has been nicknamed “Ren Cannon” for his outspokenness, has had a run in with authorities.

In 2016, China shut down his microblogging accounts after he criticised President Xi.

He had written a Weibo weblog that state media was funded by taxpayers and may due to this fact serve the folks as a substitute of the Communist Party.

His put up was later criticised by state media, with one referring to him as having “anti-Communist Party” ideas.