State asset head sacked from post

Updated: 2013-09-04 02:49

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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Several SOE executives caught in anti-graft fight

The head of the administration in charge of State assets has been removed from office for "grave disciplinary violations", the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, two senior railway officials will stand trial soon, a Beijing court said.

Jiang Jiemin, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, was announced to be under investigation by the Party's graft-fighting watchdog on Sunday. He was chairman of China National Petroleum Corp before being named chairman of the commission in March.

A number of high-profile executives at the State-owned oil giant have been under investigation recently, such as Wang Yongchun, the company's deputy general manager, who was questioned on Aug 26.

"It shows that the top leaders are determined to fight against corrupt officials, whether they're high-level or grassroots," said Zhang Yi, Party chief of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, at a meeting at CNPC on Monday.

Those who break laws and violate Party discipline will be blamed and face punishment, no matter who they are and how high their position is, he said.

The investigations into the CNPC executives may shock the industry in the short term, but in the long run, the move will be good for its development, he said.

A system must be established to deter corruption, he said.

Zhang required the oil giant to set up and upgrade its educational and supervision mechanism. The company should also improve its transparency as it makes important decisions on staff and properties, he added.

Also on Tuesday, prosecutors said Zhang Shuguang, former director of the transport bureau of the then Ministry of Railways — now named China Railway Corp — has been charged with accepting bribes of more than 47 million yuan ($7.7 million) from 2000 to 2011.

The case has been filed, the Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court confirmed.

Zhang was an assistant to Liu Zhijun, former railways minister, who was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery and abuse of power in early July.

Zhang was mainly responsible for imports of high-speed railway technology, equipment purchases and bidding. Prosecutors said he granted contracts to private enterprises and in return received huge bribes.

The news came one day after the court announced that the case of Su Shunhu, former deputy chief of the ministry's transport bureau, will be heard on Wednesday. Su allegedly took 24 million yuan in bribes.

Yang Xiaojun, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, spoke highly of the country's latest battle against corruption in State-owned monopolies.

But Yi Shenghua, a Beijing-based lawyer specializing in corruption cases, said the State's recent focus on policing corruption should not be short-lived. "It should be implemented for a long time, threatening more corrupt officials and providing a more open environment for people to understand the country's anti-corruption work," he said.

Warning over lavish banquets

The country's top discipline watchdog instructed its subordinates nationwide on Tuesday to watch closely for possible lavish banquets and gifts paid for with public funds during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday.

Officials nationwide have been warned not to spend public money on gifts such as luxury moon-cakes — a popular food that Chinese people give and enjoy during the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept 19 this year, according to a circular issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.

The circular, the latest move by the Party to halt extravagance, also bans lavish banquets, entertainment and travel activities paid for with public funds, as well as the over-issuing of subsidies or bonuses to officials ahead of and during the two holidays.

Officials, particularly leading ones, have also been told to better educate and restrain their family members from such practices, according to the circular.

Discipline watchdogs at all levels have been told to closely supervise such practices. Any violators will be dealt with seriously, and typical violation cases will be exposed to the public, according to the top discipline watchdog.

The National Day holiday lasts from Oct 1 to 7 this year.