Sun Zhengcai

Former Chongqing police chief expelled from Communist Party for graft

Anti-graft watchdog says He Ting wasted public funds and abused his power

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 6:41pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 9:41pm

The former police chief of the scandal-plagued major southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party after a probe by the anti-corruption watchdog found he wasted public money and abused his power.

He Ting, 55, was abruptly removed from his post without explanation in June, a position he had held since early 2012.

His downfall preceded that of Chongqing’s former top official, one-time city party chief Sun Zhengcai, who was sacked in July and then put under investigation for suspected corruption.

A dozen more Chongqing officials could be caught up in Sun Zhengcai corruption probe, sources say

In a brief statement, the graft-fighting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said He wasted public funds, went to banquets organised by private firms, interfered in promotions and sought benefit for relatives’ companies.

He also had for a long time engaged in “superstitious activities”, a charge often levelled at fallen officials to further blacken their names, often implying visits to soothsayers and temples. Party officials are supposed to be strictly atheist.

Apart from being expelled from the party, he will also be forced to take early retirement and will have his illicit gains seized, the watchdog added, without saying if he would also face criminal prosecution.

It was not possible to reach He or a representative for comment and it was unclear if he has been allowed to retain a lawyer.

Meanwhile, the CCDI has put Mu Huaping, another Chongqing vice-mayor, and Xia Chongyuan, former director of the Ministry of Public Security’s political department, on probation for two years, for severe violations of political discipline and party regulations.

The CCDI said Mu traded favours with superiors to gain promotion, while Xia took part in unauthorised political activities inside the Communist Party, among other violations.

Both Mu and Xia had already been disqualified from attending next week’s party congress.

Friends in high places: Xi Jinping’s determined path to control

Chongqing, one of the country’s most important cities, is perhaps best known outside China for its association with another of its disgraced former party bosses, Bo Xilai, once a contender for top leadership before being jailed for life in 2013 in his own dramatic corruption scandal.

Bo’s police chief, Wang Lijun, was also jailed for his part in Bo’s scandal, which centred on Bo’s wife murdering a British businessman.

Sun had also once been seen as a potential former national leader. The party opens a key congress next week to unveil a new generation of leaders.

Chinese ‘leader-in-waiting’ joins chorus of condemnation of former high-flyer Sun Zhengcai

Sources with ties to the leadership and foreign diplomats say Sun had been out of favour after the party’s corruption watchdog in February criticised Chongqing authorities for not doing enough to root out Bo’s influence.

President Xi Jinping has carried out a sweeping campaign against deep-seated corruption since coming to power five years ago, warning as others have before him that the problem is so severe it could affect the party’s grip on power.

Additional reporting by Choi Chi-yuk