President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption struck at Guangdong, China’s largest regional economy, as the Communist Party chief of its capital Guangzhou was put under investigation.Wan Qingliang, previously a vice governor of the southern province, is being probed for “serious violations of discipline and laws,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website yesterday without giving further details. The phrase is usually used to signal corruption.
Xi started his crackdown after taking control of the party in November 2012, warning that graft threatens its six-decade grip on power.
Guangdong, China’s most-populous province, is the latest region to come under the spotlight in a campaign that has ensnared thousands of officials in government, the media and industries including energy and telecommunications.
“This corruption campaign is being run on so many levels and has gone on far longer than most people expected,” said Ding Xueliang, a professor of politics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Xi and commission chief Wang Qishan “fear enormously that they may be the last kings of the party and they are fighting to save the regime.”
The watchdog said in January it punished 182,000 government officials for corruption and abuse of power last year, 13 percent more than in 2012. Du Shanxue, a deputy governor of Shanxi province, and Ling Zhengce, a top provincial official and brother of an aide to former President Hu Jintao, were put under investigation earlier this month.
The commission also this month announced a probe into Su Rong, a vice chairman of the nation’s top political advisory body and a former party chief of Jiangxi province. — Bloomberg.
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