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Aide to Chinese language vice-president faces corruption trial

A former Chinese language anti-graft investigator who labored intently with vice-president Wang Qishan will go on trial for allegedly accepting “extraordinarily massive” bribes, in accordance with the Supreme Individuals’s Procuratorate.

The procuratorate mentioned Dong Hong can be tried in Qingdao, in jap Shandong province, for alleged crimes dedicated whereas he labored on the Communist occasion’s anti-graft watchdog, in addition to on the Beijing municipal and Hainan provincial governments.

Dong was accused of “searching for advantages” whereas working as a senior inspector on the occasion’s Central Fee for Self-discipline Inspection, which Wang headed from 2012 to 2017 earlier than changing into vice-president in 2018.

Wang was a extremely regarded monetary technocrat earlier than President Xi Jinping tapped him for the enormously highly effective CCDI put up. Whereas he was at CCDI he oversaw an formidable anti-corruption marketing campaign that introduced down a whole bunch of senior occasion and authorities officers, navy officers and executives at lots of the nation’s largest state-owned enterprises.

In January, Xi described corruption as “the largest threat to the occasion’s governance”. Many analysts, nonetheless, mentioned the marketing campaign has additionally been used to intimidate individuals who may oppose Xi’s plans to start an anticipated third time period in energy subsequent yr. Xi controversially abolished time period limits on the presidency in 2018.

Throughout his five-year tenure as anti-corruption tsar, Wang was extensively considered China’s second strongest official and was anticipated to exert affect over US relations and different essential coverage areas as vice-president. Nevertheless, since leaving the CCDI his public appearances have been largely restricted to ceremonial occasions with visiting overseas dignitaries.

“Everybody thought Wang Qishan would wield a number of affect as vice-president however in actual fact he was not given any main portfolios,” mentioned Willy Lam, a China knowledgeable on the Chinese language College of Hong Kong.

The procuratorate additionally accused Dong of accepting bribes and different crimes when he held senior positions within the Beijing municipal authorities and southern Hainan province, the place he was deputy secretary-general of the provincial occasion committee.

Whereas the procuratorate didn’t say what years Dong labored in Beijing and Hainan, Chinese language media reviews mentioned he was a prime aide to Wang in each locations. Wang was the highest occasion official in Hainan from 2002 to 2003, earlier than changing into mayor of Beijing within the run-up to the 2008 summer time Olympics that had been held within the Chinese language capital.

Dong was first accused of “severe violations” of occasion guidelines — a standard euphemism for corruption — in October and was expelled from the Communist occasion in April. On the time of his expulsion, the official Xinhua Information Company mentioned Dong had “misplaced his beliefs and was dishonest and disloyal to the occasion”.

It’s uncommon for shut associates of prime Chinese language leaders to be accused of graft. Ling Jihua, an aide to former president Hu Jintao, was an early sufferer of Xi and Wang’s anti-corruption marketing campaign.

Ling was accused of corruption in December 2014 and sentenced to life in jail two years later.

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