China investigates former statistics chief, charges two execs with graft

Xu Jianyi, chairman of FAW Group Corp, gestures as he attends an event in Shanghai.
Xu Jianyi, chairman of FAW Group Corp, gestures as he attends an event in Shanghai. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China has detained the former head of the National Bureau of Statistics on suspicion of corruption, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday (Sept 14), as state media reported two senior executives from major state-owned companies had also been charged with graft.

The cases were the latest in a rolling campaign to root out deep-rooted corruption launched after President Xi Jinping assumed office almost four years ago. The crackdown has targeted a broad swathe of high-ranking officials, from members of the military to former judges and various ministry chiefs, as well as numerous bosses of state-owned companies.

Wang Baoan, a one-time deputy finance minister who became chief of the statistics bureau in mid-2015, was accused by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog in late August of serious violations of discipline, including extravagance, abuse of power and selling power for sex.

The state prosecutor said on its official microblog on Wednesday it had launched a case against Wang, begun a formal investigation and adopted “coercive measures” against the former official, meaning he had been detained.

It did not give further details.

The corruption watchdog announced the investigation of Wang in January. He was later expelled from the party.

It was not possible to reach Wang for a comment and unclear if he had been able to retain a lawyer. China’s courts are controlled by the party, and convictions in such cases are generally a foregone conclusion.

Xinhua state news agency said prosecutors had also charged Xu Jianyi, the former chairman of state-owned FAW Group Corp , with corruption.

Former PetroChina vice chairman Liao Yongyuan had also been charged, Xinhua said.

It was not immediately possible to contact Xu or Liao.