China cracks down on corrupt officials

China has sacked a top naval officer on charges of economic crimes and has detained a provincial vice-governor for taking bribes.

    The Communist Party says graft threatens its existence

    The incidents were the latest targets of growing measures against official corruption.
       
    The official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday that China's Central Military Commission stripped Wang Shouye of his post as deputy commander of the navy and he resigned from his position in the National People's Congress, or legislature, after his mistress turned him in.

    "Because of my involvement in economic crimes, I had been stripped from the post of deputy navy commander and thus no longer have the qualification of being a deputy to NPC," Xinhua quoted Wang as saying in his resignation letter dated March 29.
       
    The People's Congress Standing Committee approved a resolution terminating Wang's membership, a congress official, Xin Chunying, told a news conference in Beijing on Thursday.
       
    Earlier this month, Liu Zhihua, Beijing's vice-mayor was sacked for corruption.
       
    Liu was responsible for urban planning and awarding $40 billion worth of projects for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

    Other arrests
       
    The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said on Thursday that He Minxu, vice-governor of the eastern province of Anhui, was also taken into custody by the party's internal corruption monitor for allegedly accepting $37,510 in bribes from a businessman.
      
    Two other deputies to the National People's Congress were also dismissed on Thursday for illegal business operations, Xinhua reported.

    Ge Zheng, chairman of an investment company in the eastern province of Zhejiang, was expelled for "illegal collection of public funds".

    Luo Zeqin, chairwoman of a Guangdong medical company, was expelled for tax evasion.

    Corruption

    China's Communist Party has said corruption threatens its existence, and has waged campaigns against crooked officials.

    The National Audit Office said in a report published on Wednesday that government departments had lost $2.2 billion last year through corruption, poor tax methods and bad land management.

    About $685 million worth of central budget funds was lost through embezzlement, concealing revenues, fabricating expenditures and other forms of abuse, the office said in its 2005 annual report.

    Another $830 million was lost through poor tax collection methods, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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