China: Investigation into planning chief

New president Xi Jinping has vowed to stamp out corruption . Picture: Getty
New president Xi Jinping has vowed to stamp out corruption . Picture: Getty
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A DEPUTY chairman of China’s top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, is under investigation for suspected “serious discipline violations”, state media said, as China’s new leaders tackle deep-rooted corruption.

Liu Tienan, 59, who until March was also head of the energy regulatory body, the National Energy Administration, was under investigation by the Communist Party’s disciplinary commission, state television CCTV said in a one-line report.

Last month, China formally charged a former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, with corruption and abuse of power, setting up the first test of newly installed president Xi Jinping’s resolve to crack down on pervasive graft.

In January, Mr Xi, who officially took office in March, said anti-corruption efforts should target both low-ranking “flies” and powerful “tigers”. The NDRC is a super ministry that sets broad economic policies and approves major investments.

Yesterday’s report came more than five months after a Chinese journalist, Luo Changping, challenged Mr Liu and investigators by publicly accusing him of dishonest business deals and other misdeeds, including threatening to kill his mistress and overstating his academic qualifications.

The report did not give details of the official allegations against Mr Liu. But the journalist, Mr Luo, a deputy editor of Caijing Magazine in Beijing, said he was sure they were related to his accusations. “I know there’s a direct connection, but I can’t say any more,” Mr Luo said.