Caught with the secretary: Political scandal surrounding top aides Published: 2014-5-3 18:39:00

          Editor's note 

The ongoing controversy surrounding the corruption and abuses of power among political secretaries intensified when a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping, made more than two decades ago, resurfaced online. 

“Secretaries should not think they can abuse the power of leaders for their own benefits,” said Xi, then a high-ranking official in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, during a speech from 1990 republished on the People’s Daily’s international news portal, 

Questions on how to effectively monitor secretaries and the power they wield has proven a tremendous challenge during the central government’s numerous anti-corruption campaigns over the last 20 years.

Related law:
According to China's amended criminal code in 1997, the penalty for a Party or government official convicted of taking bribes worth 100,000 yuan ($15,980) or more ranges from 10 years' imprisonment to death.


         Outed political secretaries 

Wang Baosen

Yan Zhenli, former secretary to ex-Beijing deputy mayor Wang Baosen, was sentenced to seven years for taking 10,000 yuan  in bribes and embezzling over 640,000 yuan ($102,272) in government funds for his own business.
Yan took 200,000 yuan ($31,960) from the Finance Bureau of Beijing's Haidian district, according to the report of Leadership Science magazine.
Wang committed suicide on April 5, 1995.

Chen Xitong (middle)

Chen Jian, then secretary of former Beijing mayor and Party chief Chen Xitong, was sentenced to 15 years on October 25, 1996 for taking bribes totaling 409,000 yuan ($65,358). 

Chen Jian was arrested in February 1995 while on an official trip. 

Chen Xitong was forced to resign amidst the scandal two months later. The former mayor was expelled from the Party and sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Beijing Municipal Higher People's Court on July 31, 1998. 

The court found that Chen Xitong had kept 560,000 yuan (then $89,488) in gifts from foreign visitors that by law belonged to the State. He was also found to have built two luxury villas using public funds. 

Chen Xitong was released on medical leave on May 31, 2006 and passed away on June 2, 2013 due to cancer at age 83.

Cheng Kejie (middle)

Cheng Kejie, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, intended to marry his mistress Li Ping after his wife discovered their affair at the end of 1993.

Cheng’s then secretary, Zhou Ningbang, advised Cheng through Li to profit from his position before they married, to which he agreed.

Between 1994 and 1997, Cheng took more than 41 million ($6.55 million) in bribes for political favors.

Cheng was executed on September 14, 2000, a week after the Supreme People’s Court approved his death sentence.

Li Zhen (middle)

Li Zhen, former secretary to the Hebei provincial Party Secretary Cheng Weigao, was executed for corruption and embezzlement on November 13, 2003. 

Li Zhen was found to have taken bribes of more than 8.14 million yuan ($1,300,772) and embezzled over 2.7 million yuan in cash and real estate from three companies.

Death penalty upheld against corrupt tax official in final trial

Qin Yu (left) and Chen Liangyu

Qin Yu, who Chinese media dubbed “Shanghai’s No.1 Secretary” for his meteoric rise to power, was sentenced to life in prison on December 20, 2007 for taking 6.82 million yuan ($1.09 million) in bribes from 1998 to 2006.

The former secretary to ex-Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu was dismissed from the Shanghai Communist Party Committee on August 29, 2006 and detained on “suspicion of serious illegal activities” in the mismanagement of Shanghai’s social security fund, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

He had been promoted as head of Shanghai’s Baoshan district just one month earlier.

Qin’s political career started in 1995, when he entered the General Office of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee as secretary to the Party secretary. By November 2002, Qin was promoted to vice-director of that General Office and vice-director of Shanghai government General Office. 

Ex-Shanghai Party secretary Chen was handed an 18-year jail sentence by the Tianjin No.2 Intermediate People's Court for corruption. He was found guilty of taking bribes worth 2.39 million yuan ($381,922).

Senior Shanghai Official Investigated in Pension Scandal

Chen Shili

Wang Chuandong, former secretary to Chen Shili, then top legislator of Huainan, Anhui Province , was sentenced to six years in prison in December 2008 for taking over 500,000 yuan ($79,880) in bribes.

During Wang's tenure in Huainan he accepted numerous bribes from local businessmen lobbying for political favors between January 2001 and May 2006.

An Anhui court sentenced Chen to death with a two-year stay of execution for taking over 6.4 million yuan (about $1.02 million) in bribes on December 8, 2008.

Chen was found guilty of exchanging political favors for cash between 1991 to 2007 from seven companies, most of which were real estate developers.

Wu Zhiming (middle)

Wu Zhiming, the vice secretary-general of the Jiangxi Provincial government, received a suspended death sentence on December 19, 2012 for accepting bribes from 12 officials seeking promotions.

Wu was found guilty of accepting cash and property valued at a total 47.48 million yuan ($7.53 million) between 2002 and 2011, according to a statement from the Jiujiang Intermediate People's Court.

China's official bribe takers imprisoned
Former provincial official sentenced to death for bribery
Former provincial official stands trial for bribe-taking

Dubbed the "General's Residence",Gu's compound in downtown Puyang, Henan Province was built to resemble the Fobidden City. Photo:

Qiao Xijun, who served as secretary to Gu Junshan, a former senior military logistics officer, surrendered to police on April 9, 2013 after more than a year on the run.
Qiao disappeared soon after Gu was under investigation at the end of 2011.
The Ministry of Public Security had offered a 50,000 yuan ($7,988) reward for his capture a month after Qiao went missing on February 3, 2012.
Gu stands accused with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of State funds and abuse of power. The military prosecutor filed charges with a military court against Gu on March 31, 2014, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Former secretaries turned politicians:

Guo Yongxiang

Guo Yongxiang, former chairman of Sichuan's provincial federation of literature and art circles, was stripped of his membership to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and expelled from public office for serious law and discipline violations, the CPC's anti-graft authority announced on April 9, 2014.

Guo has been investigated for suspected disciplinary violations since June 23, 2013.

Former Sichuan official removed from Party, public office
Senior official investigated for disciplinary violations

Ji Wenlin

Ji Wenlin, vice governor of South China's Hainan Province, was removed from his post at the seventh session of the Standing Committee of the fifth Provincial People's Congress on March 27, 2014.

Ji was under investigation for suspected serious violation of discipline and laws since February, and he was dismissed from office, said an official with the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on February 20.

Chinese provincial official sacked in discipline probe
China intensifies crackdown on corruption
Chinese provincial officials removed from office
Vice-governor of Hainan province Ji Wenlin probed for discipline violation

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