Former party boss of China's Guangzhou accused of extortion

Former party boss of China's Guangzhou accused of extortion

BEIJING - The former Chinese Communist Party boss of the southern city of Guangzhou has been expelled from the party after being accused of extortion, bribery and "visiting private clubs", state media said on Thursday, the latest official to fall in an anti-graft campaign.

Wan Qingliang was placed under investigation in June on suspicion of "serious disciplinary violations", the usual euphemism for graft.

"Wan Qingliang used his position to seek benefits for others, extorted, received and gave a large amount of bribes ... and many times visited private clubs," the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief report.

Private clubs have been a particular target of President Xi Jinping's sweeping battle against deep-seated corruption due to their reputation in China as places where shady dealings are carried out.

"His aforementioned acts constitute a serious violation of discipline and the law," Xinhua added.

Apart from being expelled from the party, his case has now also been handed over to judicial bodies for prosecution, it said, without elaborating.

It was not possible to reach Wan for comment. He will almost certainly be found guilty as the courts are controlled by the party and generally do not challenge its accusations.

Guangzhou, as capital of the booming and populous southern province of Guangdong, is one of China's most important cities. Provincial party chief Hu Chunhua is a rising star tipped for future national leadership.

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