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Jiang Zemin

Anti-graft meeting ends with strong warning to party officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 January, 2007, 12:00am

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The Communist Party's top anti-graft body wrapped up its three-day annual meeting yesterday, issuing more specific warnings for party officials and leading cadres, Xinhua reported.


Those who gamble, seek to profit from illegal property deals or illicit stock investments, or use their position to enrich family or friends will be 'resolutely cracked down on', according to the communique published yesterday by the Seventh Plenum of the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection.


The strongly worded document was intended to pinpoint pitfalls into which many top party officials have unceremoniously fallen in the past year.


It sent a clear message to corrupt officials following the rhetoric of President Hu Jintao's keynote speech the day before, an address that focused on high-level official corruption and advocated a strong work ethic and healthy lifestyle - an apparent rebuke of the practice of many officials of keeping mistresses.


Other suspect activities identified include issuing illegal loans, unlawful land authorisations or transfers, unauthorised involvement in coal mining, embezzlement and illegal sales of state assets.


The meeting ended without mention of the biggest corruption case last year, the Shanghai pension fund scandal that toppled the city's party chief, Chen Liangyu , despite speculation fresh details would be released.


Analysts said Mr Hu was leveraging Chen's case as a bargaining chip to gain more ground ahead of the 17th party congress this autumn. Joseph Cheng, a professor at City University of Hong Kong's department of public and social administration, said Mr Hu was using Chen's case to hold the entire 'Shanghai gang' to ransom, to secure more key positions at the party congress, instead of forcing a premature political showdown.


'There's this question of where Chen's case is going to stop. Will it lead to [the downfall of] some standing members of the Politburo like Huang Ju , or even former president Jiang Zemin ? Hu Jintao is a very cautious and patient power player, and he will not show his cards until he has secured victory,' Professor Cheng said.


Chen has been long been seen as a prominent member of the Shanghai gang, with Mr Jiang as the group's spiritual leader.