Former top statistician expelled from Party

Updated: 2007-01-23 22:11

File photo of Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics Qiu Xiaohua. [Reuters]

BEIJING -- The former head of China's National Bureau of Statistics, Qiu Xiaohua, who was sacked in October last year for suspected involvement in a social security fund fraud, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to Party's anti-corruption watchdog.

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With the approval of the State Council, the Ministry of Supervision had dismissed Qiu from all administrative posts, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced on Tuesday.

The commission said Qiu had taken bribes from company owners, led a "dissolute life" that could not be supported by his regular salary and committed bigamy when he served as a leader of the NBS.

"As a senior cadre, Qiu ignored the Party spirit and related laws. His wrongdoing has caused a vile social and political impact. He must be seriously punished," the commission said.

It also proposed expelling Qiu from the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Qiu had been handed over to prosecutors to face criminal charges, the commission said.

Qiu was sacked on October 12 last year, only seven months after he took the post of NBS director. He was suspected of involvement in the 10 billion-yuan (1.25 billion US dollars) Shanghai social security fund fraud.

Qiu was born in 1958 in east China's Fujian Province. He graduated from the department of Economics of Xiamen University in Fujian in 1982 and later joined NBS.

He served as chief economist and NBS spokesman from 1993 to 1998 before he was appointed deputy director in 1999.

Qiu's case is another signal of the Party's hard stand against corruption.

The Shanghai social security fund scandal, which Qiu was found to be involved in, made headlines in September and led to the removal of Chen Liangyu from the post of secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee.

Chen is one of the country's highest-ranking officials to fall in the country's latest anti-corruption campaign.

Earlier this month, the CCDI began investigating allegations of corruption against the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), Zheng Xiaoyu, who left his post a year and half ago.

In December, former vice mayor of Beijing Liu Zhihua, who was sacked in June for corruption, was also expelled from the Party.

In 2005, the Party handed down penalties to 115,000 CPC members, accounting for 0.16 percent of the total membership.

The penalties included 11,071 members expelled from the party, of whom 7,279 were turned over to the judicial departments for criminal investigations.

President Hu Jintao pledged earlier this month a more severe and systematic crackdown on corruption at the CCDI's Seventh Plenary Session.

Hu called on government officials and Party cadres at all levels to establish a comprehensive system to expose and punish corrupt officials, and to make anti-graft efforts an integral part of the country's economic, political, and cultural development.

The CCDI has also brought "government officials' collusion with business people" to the forefront of its battle against corruption.

A total of 3,128 corruption cases directly involving government employees and 968 million yuan (121 million US dollars) were uncovered between August 2005 and June 2006, the CCDI said.

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