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China corruption watchdog accuses state energy firms of serious violations

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 18:45

[SHANGHAI] China's top graft-busting body said on Friday two big state-owned energy conglomerates have committed serious violations of regulations and accused unnamed officials in them of corruption, as part of an intensifying crackdown on graft in the country.

Officials at China Shenhua Group, the country's top coal producer, have taken bribes and manipulated coal prices for personal benefit, China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said on its website.

"Some senior leaders have taken advantage of coal pricing power for personal gain and are suspected of serious disciplinary violations," CCDI said.

In a separate report on its website, CCDI also faulted power group China Huadian Corporation, alleging serious violations during takeovers of coal mines and appointment of officials, saying those actions had caused big losses of state-owned assets.

Calls to Shenhua's media department and Huadian on Friday were not answered. Huadian's website published the CCDI report.

The corruption watchdog has launched a series of investigations into state-owned enterprises and government bodies, including China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group), Asia's largest oil refiner, and China Unicom (Hong Kong).

President Xi Jinping has warned that corruption is a threat to the Communist Party's very survival and has vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

The investigations have shifted from senior political figures to state-owned companies and have also broadened out to the financial sector, including senior bank officials.

REUTERS