China Levels Series of Allegations Against Former Law-Enforcement Official Sun Lijun

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A once senior Chinese law-enforcement official on Thursday was ejected from the Communist Party in a blaze of accusations, an indication that the anticorruption campaign that defined President

Xi Jinping’s

early years in power is far from over and could pick up pace as he seeks to stay on as leader.

Sun Lijun,

as vice minister of public security, had wide-ranging connections throughout the legal system, including to a senior Chinese police official who for almost two years was president of Interpol but is now serving a 13-year sentence in China for bribe-taking.

Mr. Sun also had connections with high-profile cases in Hong Kong and internationally.

Party investigators, who in April 2020 said that Mr. Sun was under investigation, in Thursday’s notice didn’t specify any focus of its probe but accused him of numerous personal, financial and political improprieties and ejected him from the political organization, which indicates a formal prosecution against him will follow.

The notice from the party’s antigraft Central Commission for Discipline Inspection accused Mr. Sun of rumor mongering, deception, theft, extravagance and immorality, as well as disloyalty to the party, superstition and negligence in stopping the spread of Covid-19. “The circumstances were particularly serious, the nature was particularly bad, and the impact was extremely bad,” said the statement.

Mr. Sun is unreachable. Under China’s system, he will be represented by a lawyer once legal prosecution begins.

The Wall Street Journal has reported links between Mr. Sun and a high-ranking executive of Shenzhen internet company

Tencent Holdings Ltd.

, who was detained over alleged illegal sharing of information from the firm’s WeChat social-media app.

The Journal has also reported that Mr. Sun was involved in a Chinese government proposal to aid a former Malaysian prime minister by offering to monitor reporters for the Journal who were investigating the politician’s ties to a troubled investment fund, 1MDB.

The prosecution of senior Chinese officials on corruption charges has been a hallmark of Mr. Xi’s nearly nine years at the top of the party. More such actions are possible in the next year ahead of a party congress in late 2022, where Mr. Xi is widely expected to seek a third term as leader, some analysts say.

Details of the anticorruption strikes are often murky but many have affected officials considered rivals to Mr. Xi.

Now in his early 50s, Mr. Sun is among ousted officials who were once considered political loyalists of Mr. Xi. His removal “indicated the unfolding of a new wave of purges targeting those who had once helped Xi consolidate power,” according to research last year by University of Victoria political science professor Guoguang Wu published in China Leadership Monitor.

In the report, Mr. Wu identified a number of other relatively young police officials who had similarly fallen from grace. “The repeated purges in the public-security apparatus are indicative of the emergence of a new pattern in elite politics which is characterized by continuous purges,” according to Mr. Wu’s paper.

Mr. Wu said Thursday that a reference in the allegations to Mr. Sun’s participation in “cliques” likely indicates his problems also relate to behavior by other officials.

Write to James T. Areddy at

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