Shanghai vice-mayor under probe for graft

Mr Ai Baojun is the most senior Shanghai official to be swept up in China's anti-corruption campaign.
Mr Ai Baojun is the most senior Shanghai official to be swept up in China's anti-corruption campaign.

SHANGHAI • The vice-mayor of Shanghai in charge of its experimental free trade zone is being investigated for suspected "serious breaches of discipline", the anti-graft watchdog of the ruling Communist Party has said, using its usual euphemism for corruption.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection yesterday gave no further details of the investigation into Mr Ai Baojun, the most senior official from China's finance hub to be swept up in an anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping after taking power some three years ago.

Shanghai party chief Han Zheng pledged "zero tolerance" towards corruption at an internal meeting about the case, according to a statement posted on the government's official microblog.

Mr Ai became a vice-mayor of Shanghai in December 2007, according to an official online biography. He has headed the committee that runs the Shanghai Free Trade Zone since its launch in September 2013 as part of a government effort to test a more open and streamlined environment for foreign firms to do business, along with the relaxation of policies for several service sectors.

Mr Ai is the most senior Shanghai official to be investigated for corruption since the city's then Communist Party chief Chen Liangyu was jailed for 18 years for graft in 2008. Mr Dai Haibo, a deputy secretary of the Shanghai government and former deputy head of the free trade zone, was stripped of his post this year following an investigation.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Shanghai vice-mayor under probe for graft'. Print Edition | Subscribe