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China's corruption fighters target collusion between officials-businessman

China's corruption fighters target collusion between officials-businessman

China's anti-corruption watchdog is targeting the cozy, often illicit ties between Communist Party officials and businesses, state media said Monday, amid reports of investigations targeting several prominent tycoons.
"Behind each corrupt official lurks a business big-shot," the official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary. It said the party's graft-busting Discipline Inspection Committee has brought government officials' collusion with businesspeople "to the front line in its battle against corruption."
Chinese leaders have long trumpeted their determination to root out pervasive bribery, influence peddling and other corruption.
The perennial anti-graft campaign appears to be gaining momentum in the runup to a key party congress later this year, though like others in the past it is unlikely to touch the highest echelons of power.
On Monday, the state-run Shanghai Securities Journal reported that authorities were deepening an investigation into the business dealings of Chinese oil tycoon Gong Jialong, who earlier was reported by his company Tianfa Petroleum Co., to have been detained for unspecified alleged economic crimes.
That news came a day after authorities announced that Shanghai real estate magnate Zhou Zhengyi, had been rearrested on charges of bribery and falsification of tax invoices.
And on Friday, Shanghai police reported the arrest of 22 business people for alleged bribery linked to local computer equipment purchases. They included staff at several major multinational companies such as McDonald's Corp. and Whirlpool Corp.
Corruption investigators from Beijing are in the midst of a sweeping probe into alleged misuse of more than US$380 million in Shanghai pension funds.
That scandal resulted in the ouster of the city's Communist Party chief, Chen Liangyu, who was also expelled from the party's powerful Politburo. Similar investigations have targeted top officials in other major cities, including Beijing and Tianjin.
Zhou, the Shanghai tycoon, once was one of China's richest businessmen, with a fortune estimated by business magazine Forbes in 2002 at US$320 million.
Also known as Chau Ching-ngai, Zhou was released in May after serving a three-year term for fraud and stock manipulation. He was rearrested Sunday on charges of bribery and forging tax receipts.
Authorities have not said whether Zhou's case is linked to those of Chen and other officials. A Shanghai prison official was earlier charged with taking bribes in exchange bribes from Zhou in exchange for special treatment during his time in jail.
Zhou's arrest means he remains out of the reach of authorities in Hong Kong, where he faces fraud charges for allegedly attempting to trick shareholders to accept a rock-bottom price for his property company's buyback. Zhou's wife, Mo Yuk-ping, was sentenced in January 2006 to 3 1/2 years on related charges.
Other recent cases involved Qiu Xiaohua, who was fired as head of the National Statistics Bureau, and Zheng Xiaoyu, who lost his job running China's drug administration on suspicion of taking bribes to allow companies to get around drug approval standards.


Updated : 2021-10-18 19:46 GMT+08:00