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China's graft-hit Sichuan province says it has only a few "bad apples"

Published on Mar 6, 2014 7:48 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The leader of China's scandal-plagued south-western province of Sichuan said on Thursday that a few "bad apple" corrupt officials should not negate the hard work of the vast majority of party members, despite spiralling graft allegations.

Sichuan was a powerbase for steely retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who sources say is at the centre of a corruption investigation reaching into the highest echelons of government, though Beijing has yet to formally confirm this.

Several senior officials who worked with Zhou when he was Sichuan's Communist Party boss from 1999-2002 or who remained in Sichuan and rose up through the ranks under Zhou's patronage have been felled by anti-graft investigators.

State media, without mentioning Zhou's name, have reported on a series of other scandals in Sichuan in the past few weeks, including a Sichuan mining magnate who ran a "mafia-style" gang who has been charged with crimes ranging from murder to gun-running.

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