Shanxi Party Chief Backs Anti-Graft Campaign Amid Probes

The head of China’s coal-rich province of Shanxi pledged support for the ruling Communist Party’s campaign against graft as several officials in his province were put under investigation for corruption.

Li Xiaopeng, the son of former Premier Li Peng, said he will “resolutely uphold the central government’s strengthened fight against corruption and support their efforts to build a clean government,” the official Shanxi Daily said in a report on its website yesterday.

The northern province is the latest to come under the spotlight after the party’s discipline watchdog said last week it put Du Shanxue, a deputy governor of Shanxi, and Ling Zhengce, a top provincial official and brother of an aide to former President Hu Jintao, under investigation. Earlier this month a probe was announced into Su Rong, a vice chairman of the nation’s top political advisory body and a former party chief of Jiangxi province.

Party members must resist temptation, exercise discipline and ensure their subordinates do so, Li said at a two-day meeting in Jinzhong city that ended June 20, the Shanxi Daily said. Li, the former chairman of state-run electricity generator Huaneng Power International Inc., was named governor of Shanxi in January 2013.

Du and Ling are being probed for alleged “severe” violations of the law and party discipline, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, a phrase that normally refers to corruption. The investigations are part of a widening graft probe targeting senior officials in the province.

Not Immune

Ling is an older brother of Ling Jihua, who served as Hu’s personal secretary and chief of the party’s General Office, according to a 2007 article by Southern Metropolis, part of a news group controlled by the Guangdong Provincial Communist Party. The probe into Ling shows corrupt officials aren’t immune from an anti-graft campaign even if they have relatives in high office, the Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary on June 20 that was later taken down from its website.

The investigations in Shanxi are part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption that started after he took over as Communist Party chief in November 2012. The campaign has led to the arrest of officials in government, business and the military.

Shanxi was one of six provinces chosen for investigation by anti-graft teams as part of a second round of inspections, according to a statement on the government’s website in November.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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