Senior officials demoted for corruption
Updated: 2014-07-17 07:05
By China Daily (China Daily)
A vice-minister-level official in Jiangxi province was demoted seven levels in the hierarchy of Chinese officials, a rare punishment of a Party official for corruption that prompted discussions on the Internet.
The Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Wednesday that Zhao Zhiyong, was removed from his post as a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee and secretary-general of the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee, which is equivalent to a vice-minister in the official hierarchy. He was demoted to the level of a section worker, the second-lowest rung on the ladder.
Additionally, Zhang Tianxin, former Party secretary of Kunming, capital of Yunnan, another vice-minister-level official, was demoted by four levels to become a deputy division chief, equivalent to a deputy chief of a county.
He also was stripped of his CPC membership and demoted "for dereliction of duty that led to losses of State assets, and for taking advantage of his position for personal gain", according to the CCDI.
Compared with government officials, Party officials usually face Party discipline first if they commit violations.
Amid a nationwide anti-corruption campaign that has toppled a range of government officials, netizens questioned why these officials were demoted to low-grade public servants instead of being sacked.
Xue Lan, a professor with the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, said this may be due to the fact that while "the two officials violated Party discipline, their behavior didn't violate the law" and the punishment took this into account.
Zhao and Zhang are not the first sub-provincial officials to be demoted since the 18th National Congress of the CPC launched an anti-corruption campaign in 2012. Fu Xiaoguang, an official at the provincial level in Heilongjiang province, was demoted to department level as punishment for spending public funds on lavish banquets last year.
On July 23 last year, Fu and his relatives traveled to a Jingpo Lake spot in Mudanjiang for sightseeing. During the trip, Meng Qing'an, director of the local forestry bureau, died after drinking alcohol with Fu, according to a report by China Central Television in November.
Zhang Yi contributed to this story.
(China Daily 07/17/2014 page4)