Chinese politician tipped to replace president jailed for life 

Chinese politician tipped to replace president jailed for life A former Chinese political high-flyer who was accused of seeking to topple Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, expressed "repentance" on Tuesday as he was jailed for accepting bribes worth £20 million. Sun Zhengcai, a former party leader of the western megacity of Chongqing, and a member of the Communist Party's elite 25-member Politburo, was jailed for life by a court in the northern port city of Tianjin on Tuesday. Sun was previously seen as a candidate to be elevated to the Politburo Standing Committee, several officials who represent the apex of political power in China. But he fell from favour among Beijing's political elite last year and was named as a co-conspirator who sought to topple the president by the chairman of China's securities regulator in October. He admitted to corruption charges at his one day trial earlier this month. "Sun had taken advantage of various posts to provide help for certain units and individuals in project bidding, project approval, enterprise operation and personnel promotion and arrangement," said Xinhua news agency, citing the court. "(He) accepted money and property worth over 170 million yuan (£19.7 million) either by himself or with 'certain affiliated persons'. A man cycles past the No 1 Intermediate People's Court in the northern city of Tianjin during Sun's trial Credit: AFP However, the court had showed leniency after Sun "confessed to his wrongdoings, showed repentance and been cooperative in returning illegal gains," Xinhua said. Sun is the latest cadre to fall in a wide-ranging drive against corruption that was launched by Mr Xi after he assumed power five years ago. The campaign is hugely popular, but has been criticised for lacking transparency and is seen by some as a means to sideline opponents.

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