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2 local officials snared in China graft crackdown

September 4, 2013

BEIJING (AP) — Two provincial officials have been kicked out of China’s ruling Communist Party and sent for prosecution amid a spreading crackdown on corruption, the party’s watchdog body said Wednesday.

Wang Suyi and Li Daqiu have also been fired from their jobs after being accused of “receiving enormous amounts of money and goods in return for performing favors for others,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website.

Both are suspected of criminal offenses and will have their illegal gains confiscated, it added.

Since taking office in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping has hammered away at the twin themes of reining in widespread corruption and curtailing lavish government spending on banquets, office cars and other privileges.

The campaign appears to have expanded to tightening control over immensely powerful and long-cossetted state industries. Tuesday saw the firing of the head of the commission that oversees China’s major state-owned companies, following an announcement he was under investigation for unspecified violations. Jiang Jiemin also belongs to the party’s Central Committee, made up of its top 200 members, making him the highest ranking official caught up in the recent crackdown.

The two officials whose party expulsions were announced Wednesday are lower ranked, but they still held powerful offices that provided rich opportunities for taking bribes.

Wang was one of the top officials in sprawling, coal-rich Inner Mongolia as a member of the regional party standing committee, and also head of its main body for coordinating with non-party groups. Li was a vice chairman of the provincial advisory body in the southern region of Guangxi as well as head of the regional branch of China’s sole legal government-controlled trade union.

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