Corruption in China

Former Chinese top cop demoted in Communist Party probe

Yang Huanning had formerly served under the jailed ex-national security tsar Zhou Yongkang

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 10:59pm

China’s government work safety chief – who previously served under the jailed ex-national security tsar Zhou Yongkang – has been sacked and formally demoted.

Yang Huanning was fired from his role at the State Administration of Work Safety after the Communist Party’s anti-corruption commission completed an investigation into his affairs, the agency said in a statement on Monday. He has also been placed on probation for two years within the party while serving at a lower rank.

Yuan’s previous roles include posts as the second most senior official in China’s police force and overseeing anti-terrorism operations at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection statement said Yang had “severely violated political disciplines and norms” and deviated on major issues with the party.

It also accused Yang of abusing his power to pursue his personal interests, without giving details.

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The statement did not say if Yang’s case would be referred to prosecutors, suggesting he may not have to face criminal charges. He has been demoted from ministerial rank to deputy bureau chief, the statement said.

Yang was a veteran detective who spent most of his career working his way up within the Ministry of Public Security.

Under former national security tsar Zhou Yongkang’s watch, Yang was promoted to executive vice-minister of public security in 2008, ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Social media affiliated to the state-run People’s Daily reported that Yang oversaw anti-terrorism operations for the Beijing Games.

Yang also accompanying Zhou when he inspected the scene of the Sichuan earthquake the same year, the news organisation Caixin reported.

By the time Zhou was arrested on corruption charges in 2014, more than a dozen of his close aides have already been detained for graft probes, but Yang remained with the public security ministry until 2015.

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He took over at the work safety agency after former chief Yang Dongliang was sacked in the wake of the huge explosions at an explosives warehouse in Tianjin.

Yang Huanning had not been seen in the public for three months prior to the announcement of his sacking and demotion. His name was removed from the work safety administration website last week.

One of Yang’s schoolmates at the Southwest University of Political Science & Law – former Chongqing police chief He Ting – is also under investigation for corruption, sources have told the South China Morning Post. They said He also has ties to Zhou.

The sources suggested that efforts to protect He from investigation may have led to the former party chief in Chongqing, Sun Zhengcai, also coming under investigation by anti-corruption investigators.

He was removed from office earlier this month.