Gong Daoan is the second major city police commander to be placed under investigation since the start of a major anti-graft drive

‘Rectification campaign’ is designed to root out political disloyalty and corruption among law enforcement, judges and prosecutors

Shanghai’s police chief has been placed under investigation by anti-corruption investigators amid a major purge targeting corruption and political disloyalty in China’s massive security apparatus.

Gong Daoan, Shanghai’s police chief since 2017, is suspected of “serious violations of discipline and the law” and has been placed under investigation, according to a brief notice by the Central Committee of Discipline Inspection, the party’s top anti-graft watchdog.

The notice did not give further details of the allegations against him but investigations of this kind can lead to anything from a major demotion to a death sentence.

The downfall of Gong, 56, who is also one of the city’s deputy mayors, follows the start of a nationwide “education and rectification” campaign last month.

The campaign, is designed to root out corruption among police officers, prosecutors and judges, according to the party’s law enforcement body, and will run until 2022.

Gong’s fall underlines the magnitude of the campaign, said Gu Su, a political scientist at Nanjing University.

“He’s the second police chief of a municipality to be sacked recently, so it’s quite a sensitive case,” said Gu.

Deng Huilin, the police chief in Chongqing was also

. Deputy minister of public security Sun Lijun was sacked in April and Guo Zhongqiu, another senior police commander and former supervisor of Gong’s, was arrested in May on corruption charges.

“We should expect a far-reaching campaign over the next two years,” said Gu. “Something that might resemble the anti-corruption campaign in the army.”

The far-reaching army campaign in Xi Jinping’s first term as president, led to the downfall of many senior generals – more than the number killed in fight to establish the People’s Republic, according to state media.

Gong was well liked by the Shanghai police force and was regarded as a capable technocrat.

“He is well liked by Shanghai cops and during his tenure, we weren’t as overworked as we were before,” said one local police officer who asked not to be identified.

“Take a look at public order and urban management in Shanghai over the past these years. He should be credited for doing a good job in managing the local police,” the officer said.

Gong was previously in charge of a Ministry of Public Security body responsible for technical surveillance before taking charge of the Shanghai police in 2017.

He continued to be a strong advocate for the use of digital technology such as facial recognition, according to police sources in Shanghai who said these techniques had also helped fight Covid-19.

Additional reporting by Daniel Ren

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