10/17/2013, 00.00
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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.

Nanjing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese Communist Party has removed from office and immediately arrested the mayor of Nanjing (Nanjing ) Ji Jianye , sending him to Beijing for an investigation for alleged "economic crimes" . The indictment is the euphemism by which central government bureaucrats indicate corruption cases. According to state media it is merely the latest in a series of moves in President Xi Jinping's anti- corruption crusade, while some analysts speak instead of a settling of scores within the Party , since Ji is very close to former President Jiang Zemin.

In fact, before becoming mayor of Nanjing in 2009 , Ji was first mayor and then Party chief of Yangzhou, birthplace of former communist leader who is still very influential within Chinese politics . As transpires from the investigation, the charges against Ji ( 56 years old) were laid by from Zhu Xingliang , famous industrialist of Jiangsu arrested for bankruptcy last July who since decided to cooperate with the authorities . The system of bribes with which the former mayor is charged earned him 22 million yuan (about € 2 million ) .

In his inaugural address as he took office to lead China, the new Secretary General of the Party said he would target the " tigers and flies " involved in corruption, a metaphor to indicate that people involved in corruption at all levels would be punished. And in recent months a string of arrests and investigations also at a high level seems to confirm this aim. However, according to the great analyst Willy Lam and other experts in the country, the proclamations of the Party against corruption are simply another method to assert the power of the new President Xi Jinping .


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