Provincial leader sacked for ‘buying promotions’

Source:Agencies Published: 2012-12-13 23:50:04

A top Chinese provincial official has been sacked for "serious violations of discipline," the central organization department revealed on Thursday, the first such firing since the Communist Party's new leadership vowed to fight graft.

Li Chuncheng has been removed from his post as deputy Party secretary of Sichuan Province and is suspected of "serious violations of discipline," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

No other details of his alleged wrongdoing were revealed but disciplinary violations are often linked to corruption.

Li is alleged to have bribed supervisors for promotion and taken kickbacks from the construction industry.

State media earlier this month announced that Li had been put under investigation. He is the highest-level official to be sacked since Xi Jinping vowed to crack down on graft when he was elected as head of the ruling party last month.

"A large body of evidence has shown us that the issue of corruption is growing more intense and in the end will kill the Party and the country," Xi said in a speech on November 19.

According to Xinhua, Li was himself named as an alternate member of the Party's new 205-member Central Committee during the power handover.

Overseas Chinese news reports said Li may be linked to irregularities at the Borui Group, a Sichuan-based conglomerate with a wide range of interests including media, real estate, hotel management and pharmaceuticals.

State broadcaster China Central Television said this week Li could be under investigation for offering bribes in exchange for promotions while he served as a lower-level official in Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China in the 1990s.

He also allegedly took huge kickbacks when he was in charge of housing in Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital, the report said.

During Li's term, Chengdu's GDP sky-rocketed to about 690 billion yuan ($110 million) in 2011. The "Chengdu Model" was characterized by land property rights reform.




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