Former Chinese anti-graft official himself placed under investigation

Zhang Huawei has become the most senior corruption watchdog cadre investigated this year

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 April, 2017, 8:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 April, 2017, 8:19pm

A former anti-graft Chinese official of vice-ministerial rank has himself been placed under disciplinary investigation, the Communist Party’s corruption watchdog announced on Monday.

Zhang Huawei, former inspector and head of the No.11 central inspection group that audited top state-owned electricity firms, is the most senior anti-graft official probed this year.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a brief note that Zhang was being investigated for suspected “serious violation of party discipline”, usually a reference to corruption.

Domestic media reported the CCDI veteran had been part of the investigation team in the high-profile case of former National People’s Congress vice-chairman Cheng Kejie, who was executed in 2000 after being found guilty of corruption.

Zhang also led several major inspections in provinces and state-owned enterprises, including Liaoning and the China Datang Corporation.

In the inspection on Liaoning led by Zhang in 2014, his team found serious problems including faked economic data, rigged selection of cadres and high government expenses. The inspectors asked the government leaders to deal seriously with the problems identified.

China’s top graft buster turns camera on rot in own ranks

Two years later, 45 national lawmakers from Liaoning province were sacked by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress because of a vote-buying scandal . Another 523 provincial lawmakers were involved in the case.

In January, the province confirmed long-standing suspicions that some of its economic data, including fiscal revenue, was faked between 2011 and 2014.

Xi tells Liaoning officials to clean up their political act and stop faking data

Financial media outlet Caixin reported, citing an anonymous source, that the investigation of Zhang could be related to a recent graft crackdown in the country’s financial sector.