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China sacks Nanjing city party chief amid probe

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China has removed the Communist Party chief of Nanjing city from his post for violating the law, state media said Thursday, after Beijing's corruption watchdog said it was investigating him amid allegations of corruption.

[SHANGHAI] China has removed the Communist Party chief of Nanjing city from his post for violating the law, state media said on Thursday, after Beijing's corruption watchdog said it was investigating him amid allegations of corruption.

The official Xinhua news agency said Yang Weize, 52, was suspected of "serious discipline and law violations", mirroring language the ruling party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) used when it announced Sunday that he was under investigation.

Xinhua gave no further details of Yang's alleged misdeeds, but the phrase is usually code for graft, which has become endemic in China.

Caixin magazine said the CCDI received a tip accusing him of wrongdoing while in his previous posts in Wuxi and Suzhou cities, but the report gave no details.

Yang had been Nanjing party secretary since early 2011 and has spent his entire political career in his native province of Jiangsu, of which Nanjing is the capital.

His previous positions included party secretary of Wuxi and mayor of Suzhou, as well as jobs in Jiangsu's transport department.

Caixin suggested his case was linked to Zhou Yongkang, China's powerful former security chief, who was arrested and expelled from the ruling party last month.

"During his stint in Wuxi, Yang frequently visited the hometown of Zhou Yongkang," the magazine said. "Many officials used these visits as a pretext for establishing and strengthening connections with Zhou's family in hopes of advancing their careers." Authorities said Wednesday that Zhou's case had been sent to prosecutors. Charges against him include taking bribes and leaking state secrets.

Communist leader Xi Jinping launched a much-publicised drive against corruption after he came to power two years ago, vowing to target both high-level "tigers" and low-ranking "flies".

But analysts say China has failed to implement institutional safeguards against corruption, such as an independent judiciary and free media, leaving anti-graft campaigns subject to the influence of politics.

AFP