» 08/19/2010, 00.00
Shenzhen mayor stripped of all functions for taking bribes and leading a “corrupt life”
The city’s former top man took advantage of his office to make profits for others, and get favours in return. The mayor’s political aide Chen Shaoji was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to death last month, but the execution was put on hold. Despite sermons from Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao on Party ethics, a young girl says she wants to become a “corrupt official” when she grows up.
Shenzhen (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Disgraced former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng has been stripped of his Communist Party membership and official position, paving the way for his prosecution on corruption charges.
The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection completed the official procedures yesterday to remove Xu from all his posts for "severe violations of discipline and the law”.
The party’s anti-corruption watchdog found that Xu had abused his office to make profits for others, accepted large amounts of money in return and led a "corrupt life". It also ruled that his illegal earnings would be confiscated and that his case would be transferred to the courts for prosecution.
Xu, 55, became the mayor of Shenzhen, China’s top industrial and technological hub, in 2005. His career came to a crashing end in April 2009 when his top political aide, Chen Shaoji, was arrested on corruption charges. Last month, Chen was sentenced to death, but the execution was suspended.
Last year, Xu also lost his seat as a member of the National People’s Congress, mainland China’s parliament.
Corruption is a cancer that is eating away at China’s political life. In a country where the state controls 70 per cent of the economy, rampant corruption costs the state up to 3 per cent of GDP.
So serious is the crisis that in the recent past, President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao warned Communist officials that corruption could undermine the very existence of the Communist Party.
In order to stem the tide, some experts have called for greater internal party democracy to prevent corrupt members from rising to positions of power. However, the debate over the issue has bogged down. Last June, the Party did nevertheless issue new anti-corruption guidelines, which now require party members to declare all their possessions and those of their family.
As a sign of the times, the Asia Times newspaper reported on 23 September 2009 the story of a six-year-old girl in Guangzhou, who, when asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, said, “I want to become a corrupt official.” Why? “Because mama says a corrupt official can have many, many things at home”.
Shenzhen’s “miracle” at 30
Hu exudes enthusiasm as the special economic zone marks its anniversary at a delicate time. Businesses are pulling out as the mayor is removed from office to stand trial for corruption. The small village is now a metropolis of some 14 million people.
China, Nanjing mayor arrested on corruption charges
Ji Jianye removed from office and brought to Beijing for internal Party investigation. State media praise the new move against bribes, but former mayor’s closeness to powerful Jiang Zemin points to new battle for power within national political scene.
Beijing's former deputy mayor expelled from Communist Party
Arrested on corruption charges, Liu made millions of yuan from his posts. He was unmasked thanks to foreign investigators over bribes relating to the Beijing Olympics.
China executes one of the nations’ richest men, close to Zhou Yongkang, for corruption
Liu Han, 46, was on the list of the 500 wealthiest businessmen in China. During the investigation that led to his death sentence, connections emerged with Zhou Yongkang, former "national security Tsar" who is awaiting trial. Liu’s brother and three "collaborators" also executed. The campaign "against the Tigers and the flies" launched by Xi Jinping.
Trial against Chen, former Party Chief in Shanghai, announced.
He is accused of appropriating public funds and corruption, as well as immorality and of having 11 lovers. He risks the death sentence. Experts: the trial is the latest in a series of attacks on the Shanghai group of former president Jiang Zemin. It could take place just before the next CP congress.
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Pope to Japanese Bishops: Be the salt and light of society, even going against the trends
During the pastoral visit of Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide, to the Land of the Rising Sun, Pope Francis urges the bishops and the Japanese Church to renew their missionary commitment to society, marked by suicides, divorces, religious formalism, material and spiritual poverty. The request to collaborate with ecclesial movements, perhaps in memory of the controversy with the Neocatechumenal Way.
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