Chinese tycoon and Xi critic jailed for 18 years for corruption

first_imgOutspoken The Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog launched an investigation into Ren in April, and the trial opened at a Beijing court on September 11 with a handful of supporters outside and a heavy police presence.One supporter told AFP they backed Ren because he “dares to speak the truth”.Ren’s essay from earlier this year, which criticized Xi, has been scrubbed from China’s internet — which regularly censors content that challenges the authorities — but was shared online outside China.”This epidemic has revealed the fact that the Party and government officials only care about protecting their own interests, and the monarch only cares about protecting their interests and core position,” Ren wrote, without naming Xi.His influential blog on the Twitter-like Weibo platform attracted millions of followers before his account was closed by authorities in 2016 after he repeatedly called for greater freedom of the press.The son of a former vice-commerce minister and a Communist Party member for decades before he was expelled in July, Ren was well connected with party elites.He wrote in his memoir that he had been friends with vice-president and former anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan since they were teenagers, when Wang was assigned by their school to mentor the younger Ren.He is also a controversial figure, particularly over his defense of China’s soaring house prices — once telling Chinese media that people who had been unwilling to invest in real estate before the boom “now deserve to be poor”. A Chinese real estate tycoon and outspoken critic of President Xi Jinping was jailed for 18 years on Tuesday for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds, a court statement said.Ren Zhiqiang — once among the ruling Communist Party’s inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer the Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon”. Beijing has stepped up its crackdown on civil society since Xi took power in 2012, tightening restrictions on freedom of speech and detaining hundreds of activists and lawyers.Tuesday’s verdict claimed that Ren also “abused his power” in his role at Huayuan Group, which caused more than 116 million yuan of losses to the state-owned holding company and more than 53 million yuan worth of property losses for the group. Tuesday’s verdict said Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan ($7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million yuan, according to a statement from the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court.It said the 69-year-old “voluntarily and truthfully confessed all his crimes”, and would not appeal the court’s decision.He was also fined 4.2 million yuan ($620,000).Rights campaigners accuse Xi and the Communist Party of using corruption charges to silence dissent. Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal legend David Seaman questions Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang substitution

first_img Comment Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was brought on by Unai Emery against Standard Liege with Arsenal already 4-0 up (Picture: Getty)Arsenal legend David Seaman questioned the logic of Unai Emery introducing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a late substitute against Standard Liege.The Gabon international has been in sensational goalscoring form this season, having registered eight goals in all competitions already.With Alexandre Lacazette injured, new signing Nicolas Pepe struggling to adapt following his £72million move from Lille and Eddie Nketiah out on loan, Aubameyang’s importance to Emery has never been greater. Advertisement Advertisement Gabriel Martinelli scored twice in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Standard Liege (Picture: Getty)The 30-year-old appeared to have been handed a well-earned break after he was named among the replacements last night but was brought on with 11 minutes remaining and his side already 4-0 to the good.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Can anyone tell me why Aubameyang is on,’ former Arsenal goalkeeper Seaman wrote on Twitter.Arsenal are back in action on Sunday when they host Bournemouth in the Premier League, hoping to record a victory that would maintain their place in the top four heading into the international break.With youngster Gabriel Martinelli having score four goals in just two starts, Emery does at least appear to have another striking option at his disposal but the former Sevilla coach insists playing through the middle is not neccesserily the Brazilian’s best position.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Yes, he played in this position with us and in every training he showed us his hunger to be with us,’ said Emery.‘In pre-season he played in different positions, but above all he preferred playing on the left wing. But also he played as a right winger.center_img Arsenal legend David Seaman questions Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang substitution Metro Sport ReporterFriday 4 Oct 2019 10:51 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link7.2kShares Emery reflects on 4-0 win over Standard LiegeTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:03FullscreenEmery reflects on 4-0 win over Standard Liegehttps://metro.co.uk/video/emery-reflects-4-0-win-standard-liege-2019524/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘I used him as a striker because in Brazil he played this position (centre forward).‘It’s not the best position for him, but the first thing in his mind is to help us and receive some minutes with us in the team. Tonight I think his performance and attitude was amazing.’Should Gabriel Martinelli start against Bournemouth?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Arsenal must ‘keep the ball better’, warns Unai EmeryMORE: Unai Emery reveals message to Gabriel Martinelli before Arsenal brace – but still doesn’t see him as a strikerlast_img read more