China / Society

City's former Party chief had ties to Ling Jihua

By Zhao Ruixue in Jinan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-10 08:00

A Party chief with suspected ties to former senior political adviser Ling Jihua has been removed from his position, Shandong Satellite TV reported on Sunday.

The whereabout of Chen Wei, former Party chief of Zaozhuang, Shandong province, remained unknown.

Chen, who was removed from his post last month, was suspected of having close ties with Ling's wife Gu Liping, reported.

Ling was also the former minister of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee and was under investigation for corruption.

A Zaozhuang official confirmed to China Daily that Chen had been absent from the city's regular meetings since early January, and his resume was removed from the city government's website later in January.

The report also cited a business source saying that Gu often visited Zaozhuang, as she had lived in the city when she was younger, and Chen often accompanied her.

Chen was born in Zhejiang province in 1966. He got a doctorate at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and worked in Japan until 2000 when he came back to China to work as the assistant mayor of Weihai, Shandong.

Chen was appointed as the mayor of Zaozhuang in 2007, becoming the youngest mayor in Shandong. He became the city's Party chief in 2011.

Under Chen's guidance, an ancient town was built from the ruins of Tai'erzhuang Battle, a major battle of World War II. The town has become a big tourism destination in Zaozhuang, a city once heavily dependent on the coal business.

Money used for building the ancient town was collected from five local State-run coal companies who wanted to transform their business structure by joining the tourism project, since coal is running out.

Chen's position has been filled by Li Tongdao, former mayor of Rizhao in Shandong.

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