China sentences Xi critic to 18 years for graft | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:47 AM, September 23, 2020

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China sentences Xi critic to 18 years for graft

China sentenced a former property executive who once called President Xi Jinping "a clown" to 18 years in prison for graft, a court said yesterday, in what some critics called an especially harsh sentence amid an ongoing clampdown on dissent. Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of Huayuan, a state-owned real estate group, was convicted for illegal gains totalling 112 million yuan ($16.5 million), according to a notice on the website of Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court. Nicknamed "Cannon Ren" for his outspoken views posted on social media, Ren, 69, was detained in March after referring to Xi as "a clown stripped naked who insisted on continuing being emperor" after a speech the Chinese president made in February about government efforts to battle the coronavirus.

 

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