Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign

Guangzhou district chief linked to fallen party boss is hauled away for graft probe

Colleagues said to be 'shocked' by Yang Yanwen's disappearance days ago

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 4:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 7:12pm

An associate of disgraced former Guangzhou party boss Wan Qingliang was reportedly taken away for graft probe, a sign that the investigators are widening their net in the southern city.

Yang Yanwen, 51, the party head of Huadu district, was placed under investigation for unspecified reasons, confirmed several independent sources close to the Huadu government. Yang had been unreachable since Saturday, according to a report.

He is the latest senior official to be taken away by the local discipline inspection committee, including Guangzhou’s Communist Party boss Wan Qingliang who was dismissed from his post on June 30 for serious violations to discipline – a term usually referring to graft.

Mainland media said Yang might be implicated in Wan’s case.

As of noon today, Yang’s profile was still on the official website of Huadu government and was still listed as its party secretary.

However, two officials from Huadu’s propaganda and discipline inspection office, who refused to give their names, told the South China Morning Post that many in the Huadu administration felt shocked when they heard Yang had been taken away for investigation.

"I can’t say it’s a fake news, but we have no idea about Yang’s current situation. We know as little as [the] media,” said a female official from the propaganda office of Huadu.

The officials declined further comment, but said Yang had not appeared in public for days. The municipal propaganda department refused to respond to the news.

Yang began his career in August 1982 and joined the Communist Party of China in October 1985.

He worked his way up the party hierarchy in Guangzhou, becoming deputy mayor and mayor of several districts in the city, prior to being promoted to his current post.

Four days after Wan Qingliang’s sacking, Li Junfu, head of the Guangzhou Municipal Land Resources and Housing Administration, was reported to have been placed under investigation, according to the local discipline inspection commission.

Both Yang and Wan are Hakka Chinese hailing from Meizhou in Guangdong province.

Hakka officials in Guangdong have been seen as the backbone of Guangdong officialdom.

But many of them had been removed from their posts for corruption since last year, including Luo Ou, deputy secretary general of the Guangdong province government; and Li Xinghua and Wang Kewei, both officials from the province’s science department.