Former Chairman of a state-owned real estate company, Ren Zhiquiang who criticized President Xi Jinping’s management of the coronavirus pandemic have been sentenced to 18 years in prison over corrupt charges.
Zhiqiang vanished from public view right after publishing an essay that allegedly accused the President of not handling properly the COVID-19 outbreak.
Zhiqiang was convicted by the court of looting public funds, misuse of power and other corrupt practices. Ren was quoted by the Intermediate People’s Court that he would not appeal the verdict given.
He was in July expelled from the ruling party after his criticism comments circulated round the internet about a video where Xi was addressing thousands about needed response to the disease.
Ren chided messages portraying and lauding the efforts of Xi and other leaders in eradicating the disease from China without citing first its origin and other mistakes that led to its outbreak.
Ren wrote that nobody is taking responsibility, they are trying to cover their excesses with mentioned achievements.