More Shanxi officials investigated for corruption

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:32am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:32am

More senior officials from Shanxi are under investigation for alleged corruption, the latest in a series of anti-graft probes focused on the coal-rich province.

The government's anti-corruption investigation department said yesterday that the mayor of Gaoping , Yang Xiaobo, and the deputy head of the work committee for the provincial Communist Party, Guo Zhongshi, were accused of "serious violations of discipline", a term often used to describe graft.

The province also announced on Tuesday that eight transport officials, including two former heads of Shanxi's transportation bureau, were under investigation for corruption.

Shanxi has been under pressure to move against graft since it was criticised by a government inspection team in February. Analysts said at least eight officials in Shanxi are under investigation. They include the former mayor of Luliang, Ding Xuefeng, and the vice-chairman of the provincial People's Congress standing committee, Jin Daoming.

Sources said at the time that some of the detained officials in the province were implicated in the corruption investigation into the former national security tsar Zhou Yongkang.

Yuan Chunqing, the party chief in Shanxi, vowed to focus on corruption in the coal mining, transport and land resources sectors, state media have reported.

An official in the province said: "Shanxi officials tend to look after each other. This is a local tradition." Most of the recent investigations were orchestrated by central government anti-graft investigators, he said.

Meanwhile, Shen Weichen, the former head of the China Association for Science and Technology who once was party chief in Shanxi's capital, Taiyuan, may be implicated in alleged wrongdoing over land transactions in the city. Shen was placed under investigation for graft earlier this month.

Sources said Shen had been instructed to sell land beside Longtan Park in the centre of the city to a leading property developer at a low price in 2007.

Many residents whose houses were demolished to make way for the project, including some retired government officials, have repeatedly complained to the national anti-corruption investigators. Sources said the complaints helped investigators.