Zhou Yongkang

Sichuan official being investigated for corruption 'owned 100,000 yuan tree'

Li Chongxi is latest Sichuan official to fall under suspicion in widening investigation into former security tsar Zhou Yongkang

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 December, 2013, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2013, 11:27am

The latest senior government official put under official probe for corruption had a tree that was worth 100,000 yuan (HK$127,000) outside his Sichuan home, The Beijing News reported, citing a retired official.

Li Chongxi, a top member of the political advisory body in Sichuan province, who once served as an aide to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, is under investigation for corruption, it was announced on Sunday.

The chairman of the provincial committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, he is the third senior Sichuan official to fall under suspicion this year in what analysts describe as a widening investigation into Zhou and his supporters.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said yesterday that Li was under investigation for “serious violations of party discipline and the law”, a phrase often used by party graft watchdogs to describe corruption.

A retired Sichuan official told the News that Li had been the subject of several tip-offs to the authorities a few years ago for a tree that was worth more than 100,000 yuan outside his home.

He has also been accused of accepting favours from Zhang Jun, a local businessman, who paid for the renovation of Li’s villa in Chengdu, the report said. Zhang was put under investigation in January.

The investigation of Li might be relevant to his dealings with mining companies carried out in a drive for industry consolidation during his tenure as Sichuan party chief, the paper reported, citing a person close to the Sichuan official.

A person said to be close to Li operating under the alias of Zhang Liang said Li had told him on the telephone that he was on his way to a provincial committee meeting on Saturday night, and that he had failed to reach him since then, the News reported.

Li’s last public appearance was on Friday, when he chaired a political advisory body meeting in Sichuan province and delivered a speech.

Guo Yongxiang , a former deputy Sichuan governor, and Li Chuncheng , a former deputy party secretary, are also under investigation for graft.

Li Chongxi became the party committee’s secretary general in Sichuan in August 2000.

By the time Zhou finished his four-year stint as the province’s party chief in 2002, Li had been promoted to Sichuan’s anti-graft chief and a deputy provincial party secretary.