Former official sentenced to life imprisonment for graft

Updated: 2013-05-04 01:14

By PENG YINING (China Daily)

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Ex-deputy governor of Shandong province convicted of taking bribes

Huang Sheng, the former deputy governor of Shandong province, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for accepting bribes.

Huang became the first high-ranking official to be jailed on corruption charges after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November, which saw a leadership transition.

Huang accepted bribes of more than 12.23 million yuan ($1.98 million) from organizations and individuals between 1998 to 2011, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The court ordered that his personal assets should be confiscated.

"Tackling corruption has been high on the government's agenda since the Party Congress. Huang's case shows China is serious and sincere in targeting graft," said Guo Fenghai, a professor of Marxism studies at the PLA National Defense University.

In November, during his first speech as Party leader, President Xi Jinping said there are many pressing problems within the Party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption, and that the Party must be fully alert and make every effort to solve these problems.

In December, Li Chuncheng, the former deputy Party chief of Sichuan province, was removed from his post for unspecified violations of discipline.

In April, the former railways minister Liu Zhijun was accused of accepting massive bribes and of abuse of power. The case was heard by the Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court.

Recently the military has been issuing new vehicle license plates and has banned their use on luxury vehicles. As of May 1, all military vehicles were supposed to have new plates.

"These actions are a sign of the new leadership's determination to fight corruption during the coming years," said Guo.

"Xi has made combating corruption the cornerstone of his early days in office and he obviously means what he said."

The crackdown indicates the leadership's desire to boost public confidence in the fight against corruption, said Jiang Mingan, a law professor at the Peking University.

In the long term, however, a mechanism to fight and prevent corruption should be established, Jiang said adding that public vigilance, especially by users of social media sites, is vital.