Party detains Shenzhen official who ran student games

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


A top Shenzhen official who oversaw the Universiade Games last year has been placed under party investigation, days after two senior Guangdong officials were detained.

Liang Daoxing, 63, director general of the 2011 Universiade Executive Office and a former deputy mayor of Shenzhen, was taken away for 'discipline inspection' on Thursday, two separate sources close to the city's government told the Sunday Morning Post.

The downfall of another senior official in southern Guangdong within a week is seen as part of a move by provincial party secretary Wang Yang to accumulate political capital ahead of the Communist Party's 18th National Congress later this year.

On Tuesday, Xie Pengfei, a former deputy secretary general with the provincial government, was placed under investigation for breaching party discipline, a term that usually refers to corruption.

On Monday, Wei Jinfeng, a deputy head of the province's financial bureau, was detained on suspicion of violating party discipline.

Xie and Wei are the highest-ranking provincial officials to come under suspicion since Wang launched a high-profile campaign against economic crimes in February. More than a thousand party cadres and civil servants across the province are under investigation.

As part of the campaign, 300 armed police under the command of the Guangdong government raided the office of a property developer in Huizhou, east of Guangzhou, on Friday and arrested 40 people, the Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday. The developer was identified as Hu Weisheng, or Vincent Wu, and he holds a US passport and Hong Kong ID card. The report said Huizhou police were not notified about the operation, nor did the government give a reason for the raid.

No official statement has been made regarding Liang's investigation. However, a report by Shenzhen's Daily Sunshine newspaper noted Liang's absence from a ceremony last Monday to honour those who made contributions to the summer Universiade, an international sporting event held every two years in a different world city. Shenzhen's hosting was criticised for a lack of transparency over its expenditures.

'Many senior and mid-ranking officials in Shenzhen had heard that Liang had been put under shuanggui for 'severely violating party discipline',' a government source said. Shuanggui is a disciplinary measure under which party members are detained and interrogated. 'We think Liang's investigation is linked to the expense of the 2011 Universiade. That's why Shenzhen has remained low-key about the ceremony for the contributors to the Universiade.'

Liang has worked in various Shenzhen government positions for 40 years. He quit his post as deputy mayor in 2009 and became vice-president of the executive committee and director general of the Universiade Executive Office.

Earlier this year, municipal lawmakers and political advisers called for full disclosure of financial details from the university games held in August. The China Times has reported Shenzhen spent more than 300 billion yuan (HK$368 billion) on the games and related infrastructure.

Zhu Jianguo, an independent commentator on political and economic affairs, said Wang launched the crackdown to gain political mileage and ease public discontent over worsening pollution and economic conditions.