Xinjiang official on corruption charges after 'lavish wedding for son'

Communist Party investigators have handed Enwaer Tursun’s case over to prosecutors.
PHOTO: Weibo

A former mayor of a city in China's far western region of Xinjiang has been expelled from the Communist Party and is expected to face trial over various alleged corruption offences stretching back more than a decade.

Enwaer Tursun, 54, the head of "united front" operations in the Uighur-majority prefecture of Kashgar, has been accused of serious violations of party discipline and national law, euphemisms for corruption.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China's top anti-corruption watchdog, said on Monday that Tursun had "lost faith in [Communist] ideology, was dishonest with the party, and had refused to implement the important decisions and measures of the central [leadership]".

The commission accused him of violating a set of rules on frugal lifestyle for cadres "hosting an extravagant wedding for his son that was beyond the permissible standards".

According to the commission, Tursun's alleged crimes also involved taking bribes in return for job promotions and project approvals.

His case would be handed over to prosecutors, the commission said.

Tursun stepped down as Kashgar mayor four years ago and became the head of the prefecture's united front branch, a party organisation that manages links to other organisations inside and outside China.

In 2017, he was appointed a deputy secretary-general of the Xinjiang's people's congress, the region's legislature.

Tursun is the second senior official in Xinjiang to be accused of corruption charges in recent days. About a week ago, the commission said that Ren Hua, deputy chairwoman of the Xinjiang regional government, was also under investigation for "suspected serious violations of discipline and law".

The watchdog has repeatedly warned cadres about their political loyalty, saying "political discipline is the most fundamental and most important discipline of the whole party".

More broadly, Beijing has also imposed a series of draconian measures in Xinjiang to curb the influence of fundamentalism and ordered cadres to strictly implement the policies, including those on controversial re-education camps.

The United Nations has estimated that up to 1 million Uighur and other Muslim minority citizens have been arbitrarily detained in the camps. But Beijing said these camps were set up to offer vocational training for Uighur to help them find better jobs and stay away from radical movements.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post