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Ren Xiqiang: Chinese businessman jailed for 18 years for criticizing CC Jinping for handling corona virus

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Ren Shikiang, a retired real estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials; Disappeared in March He wrote a scathing article that month criticizing the FC’s response to the corona virus epidemic. He was later charged with corruption.

A Beijing court on Tuesday found Renനെ guilty of a number of charges, including embezzling $ 16.3 million (110.6 million yuan) from public funds, accepting bribes and abusing power. The state lost $ 17.2 million (116.7 million yuan). The property company he once led.

Judges sentenced him to 18 years in prison and fined him $ 620,000 (4.2 million yuan). The court said he had voluntarily confessed to all his crimes and was ready to accept the court’s verdict after recovering all his illegal achievements.

The sentencing rate for the Chinese court system is about 99%, In the opinion of legal observers, Allegations of corruption are often used to pursue people in the Communist Party who overthrow the leadership.

Reggie’s guilt and harsh punishment seem to have been designed to send a message to other members of the Chinese elite who will not publicly criticize or oppose the FC, as Beijing continues to face the epidemic and face intense international pressure from Washington. Others.

‘Cannon’

Ren, 69, who was born into the ruling class of the Communist Party, has often been outspoken about Chinese politics, which is more than allowed in a dictatorial country.

His straightforwardness earned him the nickname “The Canon” on Chinese social media.

In the essay Published in March, The author criticizes the party’s repression of media freedom and the intolerance of dissent. Although the FC was not named in the essay, it referred to the country’s foremost leader as a power-hungry “clown.”

“An emperor standing there is not displaying his new clothes, but a clown who is forced to take off his clothes and remain an emperor,” Ren told 170,000 officials across the country at a mass video conference. Infectious disease control measures on February 23rd.

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The Communist Party ruled the article, alleging that its own interests were higher than the security of the Chinese people.

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

As soon as the essay was published online, Ren disappeared, fearing that relatives would detain him. Authorities confirmed that it was Ren Allegations of corruption were investigated in early AprilA longtime member was expelled from the Communist Party in July, paving the way for criminal prosecution.

This is not the first time Ren has overstepped the Chinese leadership for speaking his mind.

He was disciplined in 2016 after the Chinese state media questioned the FC’s demands that it remain completely loyal to the party. He was monitored for a year for party membership and his popular account on Weibo, a platform like Twitter in China, was shut down.

However, this time Renn does not seem to have a second chance. If he gets his full sentence, he will be in his late 80s by the time he is released.

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

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