Home Foreign Former top planning official jailed for life in China over graft

Former top planning official jailed for life in China over graft


BEIJING – The former deputy head of China’s top planning agency was jailed for life on Wednesday over a bribery scandal that exposed graft at the highest levels of China’s government.
The sentence, handed down by a court just outside of Beijing, capped the downfall of Liu Tienan, who was sacked as deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2013.
Liu was the first ministerial-level official to face an investigation after Xi Jinping became Communist Party head in late 2012 and launched the most aggressive anti-graft campaign China has seen in decades.
Xi has pledged to take down high-ranking “tigers” and low-ranking “flies” in his fight against a pervasive problem that could threaten the Chinese Communist Party’s rule.
Although the number of officials investigated for corruption has increased, the government’s campaign has not targeted high-level “princelings”, the privileged children of the revolutionary founders of the People’s Republic of China.
However, analysts were divided on the motivations of Xi’s campaign.
A report says the drive is seen as a tool to remove Xi’s opponents, while others say that it is necessary to weed out people standing in the way of his implementation of economic reforms.
Zhuang Deshui, the Deputy Director of the Clean Government Centre at Peking University, said that corruption was the biggest hindrance to China’s reforms.
“In reality, the anti-corruption campaign is the fight against interest groups and to change the present distribution system of power,’’ Zhuang said. (Reuters/NAN)

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