Date
20 September 2017
NEA official Xu Yongsheng is believed to have been detained over an investigation into the energy industry. Photo: sina.com.cn
NEA official Xu Yongsheng is believed to have been detained over an investigation into the energy industry. Photo: sina.com.cn

Detention trail points to official power trips

Energy project approvals are the likely cause of an investigation that’s led to the detention of several high-flying government officials and corporate executives, China Business News reported Monday.

Xu Yongsheng, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, is the latest name to be added to the list, reportedly taken away with an officer from the new energy department, the 21st Century Business Herald reported over the weekend. But, Wen Wei Po reported that Xu’s name is still on the administration’s official website, indicating that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is yet to publicly announce the case.

Other detainees include Wei Pengyuan, deputy director of the administration’s coal department, and nuclear power department chief Hao Weiping, both of whom came under a cloud after former administration boss Liu Tienan was linked to corruption last year.

Unnamed administration sources said the officials’ downfall may have stemmed from abuse of power in allocating energy projects to local governments and firms.

Xuwas director of the administration’s electricity department between 2008 and 2012, while Hao was deputy director between 2008 and 2013.

According to some media reports, more than 100 million yuan (US$16.05 million) was found at Wei’s home when he was taken away by investigators this month. Wei was responsible for project reviews and approvals.

Energy projects are capital-intensive and therefore thought to be fertile ground for corruption. The State Council has sought to stamp out graft by stripping the administration of 50 kinds of approval rights, leaving it with just 17.

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TL/AC/SK

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