China probes Nanjing city mayor for corruption

China probes Nanjing city mayor for corruption

SHANGHAI - Chinese authorities are investigating the mayor of Nanjing for suspected "law violations", the government said Thursday, the latest official to be targeted by a crackdown on corruption.

The Communist Party agency which investigates corruption said Ji Jianye was suspected of serious violations of party discipline and the law, according to a brief statement, which gave no further details.

Ji, 56, has been mayor of Nanjing, an eastern city with a population of around eight million, since January 2010, according to his official biography.

A state-backed newspaper, the 21st Century Business Herald, said the investigation was looking into economic corruption and construction projects.

It quoted sources as saying Ji awarded projects to a company he had ties with.

Ji spent his entire political career in Jiangsu province, including stints as the mayor and party secretary of both Kunshan and Yangzhou.

In Nanjing, the provincial capital, he is the deputy party secretary as well as the mayor.

China's president Xi Jinping has vowed to crack down on corruption at all levels of the government, calling graft a threat to the future of the ruling party.

But critics say the anti-corruption campaign by China's new leaders has so far netted a series of low-ranking officials and only a handful of senior figures, with no reforms introduced to increase transparency to help fight graft.

Last month, a Chinese court sentenced former leading politician Bo Xilai to life in prison for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Bo, previously a member of the party's 25-strong elite politburo and party chief of the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, was ousted from office last year after a scandal which saw his wife convicted of the murder of a British businessman.

Bo has vowed to appeal his sentence.

In another recent case, the former vice governor of the northeastern province of Jilin, Tian Xueren, went on trial accused of taking 19.2 million yuan (S$3.85 million) in bribes from companies and individuals

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