China Probes Two Top Officials in Shanxi Amid Anti-Graft Drive

China’s anti-graft watchdog said it’s investigating two top officials in the northern province of Shanxi, broadening a campaign in the coal-rich region that’s snared the brother of an aide to former President Hu Jintao.

Chen Chuanping and Nie Chunyu, members of the standing committee of the Communist Party in Shanxi, are being probed for serious violations of discipline and law, the party’s discipline and inspection commission said in separate statements on its website yesterday, using a phrase that signals corruption. Chen is also party chief of Taiyuan, the provincial capital.

The investigations in Shanxi are part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on graft that started after he took over as Communist Party chief in November 2012. The campaign last month snared former security chief Zhou Yongkang, who disappeared from public view in October, and in June claimed Xu Caihou, a former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, the country’s highest military body.

Li Xiaopeng, the governor of Shanxi, in June pledged support for the crackdown after the discipline commission announced a probe into Ling Zhengce, a top provincial official. According to a 2007 article by the Southern Metropolis, he is an older brother of Ling Jihua, who was chief of the party’s General Office and personal secretary to Hu when he was president.

Chen, the 52-year-old party secretary of Taiyuan, came from Shanxi’s Pinglu county, according to Chen’s resume on the Xinhua News Agency website. Ling Jihua is from the same place, according to the website of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body, where he serves as a vice chairman.

Graft Campaign

Chen presided over a meeting of the party’s Taiyuan standing committee on Aug. 22 that heard reports on the local anti-corruption campaign, according to an article posted yesterday on the website of the Taiyuan Daily, the official local newspaper.

Nie, 59, joined the provincial standing committee in 2011 after serving as party secretary and mayor of Lvliang city in Shanxi, according to Xinhua. His previous positions were mainly in Shanxi.

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang

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