Liaoning vice-governor investigated for suspected graft

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The vice-governor of Liaoning province is under investigation on suspicion of "seriously violating Party discipline", according to a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Mr Liu Qiang, 53, is the first sitting senior official to be probed for suspected graft since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October.

Last year (2016), Liaoning - in north-east China - made headlines around the country as its economic growth declined by 2.6 per cent year-on-year.

The province was also criticised for electoral fraud in connection with a leadership change in the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Committee of the CPC in 2011 and the election of deputies to the National People's Congress in 2013.

Mr Liu was born in February 1964, in the province's Faku county. He first served as a technical worker, deputy general manager and general manager at the Fushun Petrochemical, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp, from 1987 to 2002.

In March 2002, he was promoted to be a member of the Standing Committee of Fushun and then served as the city's mayor and party chief.

In 2013, he was appointed vice-governor of the province. According to the Liaoning government website, he was responsible for industry, science, technology, quality and technical supervision.

Two other senior officials appointed in 2013, Mr Wang Yang and Mr Zheng Yuzhuo, both former deputy heads of the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress, have also been hit with corruption charges.

The Liaoning provincial inspection team examined Fushun from July to September this year.