Guangdong crackdown on graft snares another senior official

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 January, 2010, 12:00am

Guangdong's crackdown on graft shows no sign of slowing, with another top official - this time in charge of overseas Chinese affairs and the provincial industrial and commercial body - being investigated.

Huang Shaoxiong is being investigated for taking bribes, according to a press release from Guangdong's anti-graft watchdog that was made public yesterday. He was deputy director of the Guangdong party committee's United Front Work Department and party secretary of the province's Federation of Industry and Commerce.

The Guangdong party disciplinary committee did not reveal details of the inquiry. Huang was removed from his positions and replaced by former Shaoqing mayor Yang Haoming in October. The watchdog office could not be reached for comment yesterday but an official at the work department said Huang was expelled from the party.

Huang had previously been a member of the provincial Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. His toppling follows the fall of Maoming vice-mayor Yang Guangliang last week.

Yang's fall has been linked to that of Chen Shaoji, the former chairman of the provincial CPPCC, who was fired in April for taking bribes and living a degenerate lifestyle. Yang is suspected of bribing Chen, accepting bribes and selling official positions.

Meanwhile, Ye Shuyang, the former police chief of Shaoguan, in the north of the province, went on trial for allegedly accepting 34 million yuan in bribes over two decades. Mainland media reported he had set a target of 60 million yuan (HK$68 million) before retiring.

Last month, Chen Xizhao, the deputy chief of police in Lianjiang, near Maoming, was removed from his post after reportedly inviting around 1,000 guests to a house-warming banquet on Christmas Eve. Local media said the palatial residence had five storeys, each more than 200 square metres.

Many top Guangdong officials have fallen since early last year. The list includes former top graft-buster Wang Huayuan, former provincial deputy police chief Zheng Shaodong and former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng. According to the province's anti-graft watchdog, 377 senior officials were investigated for corruption-related offences last year and 80 of them received party disciplinary punishment.