02/06/2009, 00.00
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Life sentence for creator of Pudong district, Shanghai's showcase neighborhood

Kang Huijun has been found guilty of corruption, in part because he took money in exchange for lucrative contracts and land sales. For 3 years, wealthy Shanghai has been at the center of the worst corruption cases in the country.

Shanghai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Life in prison for corruption for Kang Huijun, creator of the district of Pudong in Shanghai, the city's showcase neighborhood admired all over the world.

Kang Was sentenced on February 3, for accepting 5.9 million yuan (about 590,000 euros) in bribes through his wife Wang Xiaoqin, who has herself been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

In the zone of Pudong about 20 years ago, there was nothing but swamps and decaying factories. Kang, as president of the real estate company Lujiazui Development Goup, pursued and promoted the initiatives that have made the area the location of China's tallest skyscrapers, its stock market, and financial offices, thanks to which Shanghai has become the country's leading financial center.

Kang has also been sentenced for awarding lucrative contracts and selling land in exchange for money, which he used to buy dozens of apartments.

For 3 years, opulent Shanghai has been at the center of scandals and prison sentences against its political officials for corruption and other crimes. Beginning with the former head of the local Communist Party, Chen Liangyu, arrested in mid-2006 and sentenced for appropriating funds intended for public pensions.

Yesterday, Tang Ruoxin was removed from his post and from his party. Tang was head of the agency Sinosure, which provides credit guarantees for exports. He is accused of giving a guarantee to Shanghai Hongsheng (Norcent) Technology, which later defaulted on a 245 million-dollar bank loan.

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