China / Society

Anti-graft drive tags 2 high-level suspects

By Zhang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-13 07:21

Govt positions prone to corruption because of too much power without supervision, professor says

A high-level official and a former top official have been placed under investigation as China's anti-corruption campaign continues, the top anti-graft body said on Saturday.

He Jiacheng, executive vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Governance, and Zhao Shaolin, former secretary-general of the Jiangsu provincial Party committee, are being investigated on suspicion of graft, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website.

The academy is a ministerial-level institution directly affiliated with the State Council. It is an important body for training high- and mid-level civil servants and high-level administrators and policy researchers.

He, 58, a native of Jiangsu province, is being investigated for alleged "grave violations of discipline and law" - a phrase often used to refer to corruption.

Scholarly official

After graduating with an economics major, He started work in the General Office of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee in 1986, where he was involved with economic research.

A year later, he was promoted to director level as deputy head of the administration bureau of the then research office for political reform.

Before being promoted to deputy chief of the academy in March 2013, a position at minister level, He served in the former materials ministry and the trade ministry and also spent three years as the CEO of Huaxing Group.

Beijing News reported that He was widely known as a scholarly official who excelled in his research on the Chinese economy.

He was the winner of the 1985 Sun Zhifang Economic Award - one of China's top economic awards.

Zhao, 68, also a member of the Jiangsu provincial Party standing committee, is being investigated for the same reason as He.

A native of Shanxi province, Zhao began his career path as a technician in a major machinery factory in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, and later climbed rapidly through the ranks of the province's officialdom.

Zhao retired eight years ago from his position as secretary-general, a post at deputy minister level.

Phoenix News reported on its website that Zhao's son Zhao Jin, a real estate developer in Tianjin, was detained in July and is under investigation with other top executives of his companies, which allegedly resulted in his father being investigated.

Yan Jirong, a professor at Peking University's School of Government, said He's case is a very typical one involving rampant officialdom.

Yan said such a position is prone to corruption because it can involve too much government power without efficient supervision.

"There is an urgent need to separate the government's role in the economy and build real transparency in every major decision-making step involving the authorities," he said.

Yan said Zhao's case serves as a warning to all public servants that no one is exempt from punishment if they breach laws or Party discipline.

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