Fujian governor suspected of graft

Fujian governor Su Shulin, now under investigation for suspected corruption, has been regarded as a rising star within the Communist Party leadership because of his accomplishments and relatively young age.
Fujian governor Su Shulin, now under investigation for suspected corruption, has been regarded as a rising star within the Communist Party leadership because of his accomplishments and relatively young age.PHOTO: REUTERS

Su Shulin the latest leading Communist Party figure to be under investigation

SHANGHAI • The Chinese authorities have placed the governor of Fujian province, who is also a former chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, under investigation for suspected "serious disciplinary violations", according to media reports yesterday.

Mr Su Shulin has been Fujian governor since 2011 and also served as the province's Communist Party deputy chief, the Reuters news agency quoted the anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, as saying late on Wednesday.

Mr Su was chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Corp, before his appointment in Fujian, one of China's wealthiest provinces on the coast across from Taiwan.

Reuters said the commission did not give details about Mr Su's suspected "disciplinary violations". But the accusation is used regularly as a euphemism for corruption.

But the mainland's Caixin financial media group, quoting several sources, said anti-graft inspectors found that Mr Su had helped a relative's company secure Sinopec's oil depot project in the Yangpu economic development zone in Hainan province.

Sinopec had also paid for shopping trips to Hong Kong for Mr Su's wife, according to Caixin.

President Xi Jinping has led a sweeping campaign against corruption, waste and extravagance in official ranks since he assumed power three years ago.

Mr Su, 53, is also a former vice- president of CNPC, the parent of PetroChina , and was seen as a rising star within the party leadership because of his accomplishments and relatively young age.

Mr Xi has targeted the energy industry in his far-reaching campaign against graft.

Former Sinopec president Wang Tianpu, who was put under investigation in April, was found to have taken bribes, offered benefits in exchange for his own promotion and embezzled public assets, according to the anti-graft watchdog.

CNPC was a power base for disgraced former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who was jailed for life for corruption in June.

Critics of the anti-graft drive allege that it is open to factionalism and that the Communist Party has failed to introduce systemic reforms to prevent graft, such as public disclosure of assets, reported Agence France-Presse.

It was not possible to reach Mr Su for comment, and it was not immediately clear if he had any legal representation.

The announcement of the probe into Mr Su came 11 days after top graft buster Wang Qishan visited Fujian, the South China Morning Post reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2015, with the headline 'Fujian governor suspected of graft'. Print Edition | Subscribe