Former real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang on Tuesday was sentenced to 18 years in jail by a Chinese court with a fine of 4.2 million yuan. He was sentenced to jail on charges of corruption.
About Ren Zhiqiang?
Ren Zhiqiang is the former chairman of Beijing Huayuan Group Co. Ltd. also he is a member of the Chinese Communist Party. He was known as the most influential critics of the Chinese Communist Party.
In March 2020, Ren Zhiqiang was detained after he criticized Xi Jinping, China’s president and leader of the Chinese Communist Party, for his handling the virus outbreak in China.
In the letter, he referred to Xi Jinping as a “clown”. According to the sources, the essay was shared by Ren Zhiqiang. During Jinping’s speech, Zhiqiang “saw not an emperor standing there exhibiting his ‘new clothes’, but a clown stripped naked who insisted on continuing being emperor,” he wrote it in the essay.
He was untraceable by the Chinese government after he wrote an essay critical of the government’s response to the virus outbreak within the country. But he was finally arrested in the month of March.
What did Zhiqiang’s supporters say?
Zhiqiang’s supporters are not happy with the court’s decision as they see this as a way to shut down critics of the Chinese Communist Party. Earlier also in 2016, Ren Zhiqiang was put on probation from the Chinese Communist Party for publicly criticizing the government’s policy.
Zhiqiang was also nicknamed as “Cannon Ren” for posting critical posts on his social media. His social media accounts were also shut down by the Chinese Communist Party on account of spreading “illegal information”.
The court’s statement
The court said: “The court held that the defendant Ren Zhiqiang’s actions constituted corruption, bribery, misappropriation of public funds, and state-owned company personnel abuse of power, and should be punished according to law,”