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China Three Gorges Corp. Removes Chairman After Investigation

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March 26 (Bloomberg) -- China Three Gorges Corp., the state-owned company that runs one of the world’s largest hydro power dams, removed its chairman a month after it said a government probe found nepotism and lavish spending among managers.

Wang Jingqing, the deputy head of the Communist Party’s Organization Department, which assigns cadres to important posts, announced the changes in a meeting March 24, the company said on its website yesterday. Chairman Cao Guangjing and General Manager Chen Fei will be replaced, it said, without giving a reason. Xinhua News Agency reported Cao’s departure last night, citing the company. The statement was no longer visible on the company’s website as of 1:45 p.m. today.

The move comes after the company said in February a government investigation found favoritism in the awarding of construction contracts. Managers allowed friends and relatives to be involved in projects, and others owned several apartments and purchased higher-standard cars than they were allowed, China Three Gorges Corp. said in a Feb. 17 statement.

In July the Communist Party sent out 45 enforcement groups to cities, provinces, and central state-owned enterprises as part of a “mass-line” campaign initiated by President Xi Jinping, the Beijing News reported July 5.

The reorganization at China Three Gorges reflects the achievements of these groups, Wang said at the meeting of the Organization Department, according to the report on the company’s website. It reflects the decision of the Central Committee of the party and the State Council, he said.

Wang said he hopes the company can align its thoughts with the party and realize the anti-corruption work of the company’s party group, according to the statement.

Lu Chun will become chairman and Wang Lin general manager, it said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Henry Sanderson in Beijing at hsanderson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net Neil Western, Nicholas Wadhams