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Shanxi leaders probed in anti-graft campaign

China Daily, August 25, 2014 Adjust font size:

The leadership of Shanxi province on Saturday backed the nationwide anti-corruption campaign hours after it was revealed that two senior officials were being investigated.


The country's top anti-graft watchdog announced that Chen Chuanping, 52, and Nie Chunyu, 59, members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Shanxi Provincial Committee, are being probed over suspected serious violations of discipline and the law, which is often a euphemism for corruption. Chen is also Party chief in the provincial capital of Taiyuan.

The province's top leaders convened after the announcement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.

They promised to pursue the anti-graft campaign initiated by President Xi Jinping and vowed to avoid being drawn into corruption.

They said they would ensure their families and associates did not become involved either, according to Sunday's edition of the official Shanxi Daily.

Saturday's announcement brings the number of the province's 13 top Party leaders under investigation to four.

On Sunday, the Taiyuan public security bureau announced that Liu Suiji, Taiyuan's police chief, had been removed from his post.

He was succeeded by Wang Fan, deputy director general of the security administration bureau at the Ministry of Public Security.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of clear governance at the Chinese Academy of Governance, believes the corruption problem in Shanxi is more serious than in other provinces because of its resource-based economy.

"Coal is a public resource and officials have great power in examining and approving its possession and transfer, and investment in the industry," Zhu said. "This offers officials many opportunities for corrupt activity."

Zhu said China's traditional culture remains strong in Shanxi and people there attach great importance to personal relations, and this results in the existence of many interest groups.

"Once one official in an interest group is investigated, others in the group will come under suspicion," said Zhu.

Chen and Nie are the first officials at the provincial and ministerial levels to be probed since it was announced on July 29 that former security chief Zhou Yongkang was being investigated.

Zhu said this shows that the central government will not stop its anti-corruption campaign even if a "big tiger" such as Zhou comes under scrutiny.

The campaign against graft has been a basic strategy and important goal since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012.

"It will never stop as long as there is still corruption in China," said Zhu.

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