China expels senior official from ruling party

China expels senior official from ruling party

BEIJING - China's Communist Party dismissed a top political advisory official and expelled him from the ranks of the ruling party, its anti-corruption watchdog said Monday, as the country mounts a sweeping crackdown on graft.

Su Rong, 66, a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was investigated for "serious discipline violations", according to a statement on the commission's website.

The CPPCC is a discussion body that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure.

The probe found that Su had "taken advantage of his position to seek benefit for others, accepted huge bribes and abused power leading to significant loss of state assets", the statement said, without giving further details.

Graft has become endemic in China and Communist leader Xi Jinping launched a much-publicised drive against corruption after he came to power two years ago, vowing to target both high-level "tigers" and low-ranking "flies".

Su was described as "one of the graft 'tigers'" in a two-paragraph report by the official Xinhua news agency announcing the expulsion.

But analysts say China has failed to implement institutional safeguards against corruption, such as an independent judiciary and free media, leaving anti-graft campaigns subject to the influence of politics.

Previous reports in Chinese media have connected Su to corrupt land deals made in Jiangxi province during his time as party secretary there.

Su's case will soon be transferred to judicial authorities for criminal prosecution, the statement said.

Previously, Su was also the Communist Party secretary of Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

He was a vice chairman of the CPPCC for less than two years and while the position comes with political prestige, it is largely a ceremonial job tasked with advising China's rubberstamp parliament.

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