Date
23 November 2017
File photo of congress spokesman Li Dongsheng answers a question in Beijing

The Big Picture: WIDER GRAFT PROBE

Li Dongsheng {李東生}, China’s Vice Minister of Public Security, has been placed under investigation for serious violation of laws and party discipline, the ruling Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Friday.

Li, 58, joined the powerful public security ministry in 2009 after previously serving at the Ministry of Propaganda. The investigation into the senior security official suggests that Beijing is deepening its crackdown on corruption among government and party elite.   

Since the conclusion of the Communist Party Central Committee’s third plenary session on Nov. 12, four senior party members have been removed from their positions. Meanwhile, more than ten anti-corruption cases have been announced since the party’s 18th National Congress at the end of last year.

Anyone breaking the country’s laws and the party’s rules must be punished, regardless of the person’s status or position, the discipline watchdog said. The party will continue to implement its eight frugality measures announced a year ago to improve members’ working style and prevent corruption.

The probe on Li, who was a key subordinate of the former public security chief Zhou Yongkang {周永康}, is obviously an element in a bigger anti-graft war, observers say. Li is the latest member of the Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee to be put under investigation, following the fall of PetroChina’s (00857.HK) former chairman Jiang Jiemin {蔣潔敏}, who is said to have strong relations with Zhou.

The anti-graft fight will continue to be a key task for President Xi Jinping {習近平} next year as it will help him remove unfavorable political opponents, observers say. But without a thorough review on civil servants’ salary system and the tendering systems for commercial projects at the local government level, the initiative may not really bring about long-term change, according to political watchers. 

China Railway Corp debt said to have hit 3.06 trln yuan

China Railway Corp. had outstanding debt of 3.06 trillion yuan (US$504.02 billion) as of end-September, while its assets reached 4.84 trillion yuan, the Economic Information Daily reported Monday, citing unidentified industry insiders. For this year, investment in railway fixed-assets has been set at 660 billion yuan, of which 530 billion yuan is for infrastructure construction, the report said. Current projects under construction are said to be worth a combined 1.55 trillion yuan.

H5N2 bird flu outbreak reported in northern China

An outbreak of H5N2 bird flu in poultry has been reported in northern Hebei province, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement over the weekend. No human infection of the H5N2 virus has been detected so far. The disease killed 4,000 chickens at a farm in Baoding city on Dec. 17. Local authorities have sealed off and sterilized the infected area, where a total of 125,700 chickens have been culled and safely disposed off to prevent the disease from spreading.

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

 

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