China probes official in Xi’s ‘second hometown’

March 20, 2015 6:18 am
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Xi, who took office in 2013, was born in Shaanxi in the north but spent nearly two decades working in various positions in Fujian/FILE
Xi, who took office in 2013, was born in Shaanxi in the north but spent nearly two decades working in various positions in Fujian/FILE
BEIJING, China, Mar 20 – Chinese authorities are investigating a senior official in a province President Xi Jinping has dubbed his “second hometown”, the Communist Party’s internal watchdog said Friday, amid a much-publicised anti-graft campaign.

Xu Gang, the vice governor of Fujian in eastern China, is being probed for “alleged serious violations of the law,” according to a one-sentence announcement posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The phrase is usually a euphemism for corruption, an issue which causes widespread public anger in China.

Xi, who took office in 2013, was born in Shaanxi in the north but spent nearly two decades working in various positions in Fujian.

On a visit to the province last year, he called it “my second hometown”, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported.

When Xi was Fujian’s governor in 2000-2002, Xu was the provincial government’s deputy secretary-general.

In the two years since he took office, Xi has pledged to root out corruption at both the highest and lowest levels of the party, and the drive has been heavily publicised in state-run media.

Recent high-profile cases include the probes of Zhou Yongkang, China’s former domestic security chief, and Jiang Jiemin, the former head of the body that regulates state-owned firms.

Critics say no systemic reforms have been introduced to increase transparency and help battle the problem, while anti-corruption demonstrators have been jailed.

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