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  Sacked senior local party official expelled from CPC  



    BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Du Shicheng, former deputy secretary of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has been expelled from the Party for taking huge bribes and leading a dissolute life.

    Du, also former secretary of the Qingdao Municipal CPC Committee in Shandong, an economically developed region where the 2008 Beijing Olympics yachting events will take place, was sacked for "serious discipline violation".

    The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection began investigating Du's case last December.

    Du was dismissed from all administrative posts. He and his mistress are accused of taking bribes worth millions of yuan, according to the CCDI.

    "Du's abuse of public power, bribe-taking and dissolute lifestyle seriously violated Party disciplines," it said.

    The punishment has been reviewed by the CCDI standing committee and submitted to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee for a final decision.

    The CCDI said the Party sanctions will be endorsed by a plenary meeting of the CPC Central Committee. Du's case will then be dealt with in a court of law.

    Du was born in March 1950 in Longkou, Shandong and joined the CPC in December 1972. His former posts include head of the Yantai Municipal CPC Committee and mayor of Yantai, another booming coastal city in Shandong.

    The CPC Central Commission began investigating Du's misdeeds after receiving reports from the public during a routine inspection last year.

    Liu is the latest in a series of high-ranking officials to fall from grace in China's fight against corruption.

    The Party expelled 21,120 members last year for breaking its rules, mainly for their involvement in corruption scandals, according to the CCDI, the Party's discipline watchdog.

    Its annual report said 2,744 corrupt officials, out of the nearly 100,000 Party members punished last year, were removed from their posts.

    Another 8,777 CPC members were put on probation to determine whether they should retain their Party membership, said the report.

    Gan Yisheng, vice secretary of the commission, earlier said 97,260 CPC members were punished last year for corruption. The punishments extended to prosecution for 3,530 cadres, seven of whom were at or above the level of minister or governor.

    Gan said members who failed to abide by the Party's rules or made grave errors accounted for only 0.14 percent of the Party's 70 million members.

    One of the most widely publicized cases of expulsion of a Party member last year was that of Qiu Xiaohua, former director of the National Bureau of Statistics.

    Qiu, who was accused of bribe-taking and polygamy, is currently in custody and his trial will begin soon, Gan said.

    Qiu was among a handful of high ranking officials that fell during China's tough anti-graft campaign last year, which also brought down Shanghai's former Party chief Chen Liangyu, the highest ranking Communist official busted in a corruption probe in a decade.

    Liu Fengyan, another CCDI vice secretary, said during an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Thursday that the Party's discipline watchdog has intensified the fight against corruption this year and is continuing to build a "clean" Party.

    Officials who purchase commercial housing at prices far lower than market prices by taking advantage of the influence of their posts, occupy and use borrowed houses and vehicles but fail to return them, take part in gambling or seek illicit money in activities like gambling, seek illegal profits by using others to invest in the stock market, or seek other forms of illegal earnings for themselves and their family relatives and friends will be seriously dealt with, Liu told Xinhua.

    He said the Party will stringently crack down on money-for-power favors, oppose waste and extravagance, curb the widespread trend of building and renovating government offices against regulations, eliminate sightseeing trips masquerading as "government-sponsored tours", and promote a thrifty style of work among Party members.

    Sources from the CCDI said they were going to intensify routine inspections and dispatch more inspection teams to dig out more local official corruption cases. Last year, an inspection team from the commission found several clues related to Du's corruption in Shandong and busted a series of big bribery cases.

    Local media reported that Du's main wrongdoing was involvement in illegal land deals. "His mistresses asked him to do so," reported Zhi Yin, a national Chinese magazine which mainly carries feature stories.





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