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Chinese Shipbuilding Exec Accused of Leaking Secrets Might Face Death Penalty

© AP Photo / Xinhua, Li TangChinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea (File photo)
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea (File photo) - Sputnik International
A senior manager at China’s state-owned shipbuilding organization who has been convicted of bribery may be sentenced to death, the South China Morning Post reports.

set an example and send a warning to others, according to a South China Morning Post report from December 18.

On Monday, China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement that Sun had been found guilty of using his position of power for financial benefits and taking bribes, the report states.

In this undated photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, made available on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, a carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet takes off from China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. China has successfully landed a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, which entered service two months ago, the country's official news agency confirmed Sunday. The Liaoning aircraft carrier underscores China's ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, but it is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time. - Sputnik International
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"As a senior cadre and responsible leader of a state-owned enterprise, Sun Bo has abused his authority and was disloyal to the Communist Party," the disciplinary body said. The commission's investigation concluded that Sun had to be expelled from the party, and the party's leadership approved the recommendation. Sun was detained by Chinese authorities in June on allegations of corruption.

The graft-busting commission also said Sun had participated in "feudalistic superstitious activities" and turned down the opportunity to cooperate with the investigation. The statement did not mention Sun's involvement with the Liaoning or Type 001A aircraft carrier projects.

Sun was previously accused of giving the Central Intelligence Agency information about China's Liaoning carrier, a ship built by the Soviet Union that China spent more than a decade refurbishing and retrofitting starting in 2002. In his post at CSIC, Sun allegedly sold information to the CIA on the Liaoning's design and specifications in addition to drawings related to China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, Sputnik reported.

The exact nature and extent of Sun's previous activities may never become public. The South China Morning Post quotes an unnamed source as saying, "His case is so complicated and involves a lot of state secrets that can't be disclosed, so the authorities would only say he is being held on ‘corruption charges.'"

Woody Island, a island in the South China Sea occupied by China and claimed by several other countries, is shown in satellite images taken on February 14, 2016 and February 3, 2016, in this handout image provided by ImageSat International N.V. 2016, on February 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The publication quotes a source close to CSIC stating that company staff have received instructions to remain tight-lipped. "All the staff at CSIC have been told not to say anything about Sun, so you can imagine how sensitive his case is," the source said.

As the second-highest ranking official at China's largest and most important shipbuilder, Sun had overseen every completed company project over the past two decades, according to Joseph Fitsanakis, professor of politics at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. The company built a slew of new Chinese frigates and destroyers, as well as several other ships during that time. Sun was last publicly seen June 11 during a CSIC event.

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