03/20/2023, 13.56
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Religious affairs chief removed, placed under investigation

Cui Maohu falls after anti-corruption agency started investigating his work in his native Yunnan. In June 2022 he was appointed head of the National Religious Affairs Administration, the executive arm of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China. His is the third disciplinary action against a high-ranking official after China’s parliament ended its annual meeting a few weeks ago.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Cui Maohu, head of the National Religious Affairs Administration (NRAA) and a deputy head of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has been removed from office and is now under investigation.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, China’s highest anti-corruption agency, confirmed reports to this effect.

Cui is under investigation for serious violations of party discipline and breaking the country’s laws, the authorities announced on Saturday. Such a statement usually indicates a case of corruption.

According to Sing Tao Daily, he is being investigated primarily in relation to his work in his native Yunnan.

The 57-year-old, who hails from Xuanwei, graduated in philosophy from the Department of Political Science at Yunnan University. He was employed for years by the Organisation Department of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee. He became NRAA director and a UFWD deputy head in June 2022.

Originally known as the Religious Affairs Bureau, then as the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA), the NRAA was an independent body under the authority of the State  Council (central government) before March 2018 when it was placed under direct Party control, essentially serving as the executive arm of the UFWD in religious matters.

Cui is the third high-ranking official to be subject to disciplinary action since the National People's Congress, China’s parliament, ended its annual session.

The latter formally endorsed Chinese President Xi Jinping's third term in office. Xi is currently on a state visit to Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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