NINGBO PUB­LIC­ITY CHIEF PROBED

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

The head of the pub­lic­ity of­fice at Ningbo, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, has been placed un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the lo­cal anti-graft au­thor­ity an­nounced on Thurs­day.

Hong Ji­ax­i­ang, 54, a na­tive of the city, is also a mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the CPC’s Ningbo com­mit­tee. He is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for “se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tion of Party dis­ci­pline”, a phrase of­ten used to re­fer to cor­rup­tion. How­ever, there is no men­tion of a “vi­o­la­tion of laws”, and the an­nounce­ment did not give any de­tails.

Hong pre­vi­ous­ly­worked in the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fice of the city’s gov­ern­ment and­worked his way up to deputy gov­er­nor in Fe­bru­ary 2012. He­was­moved up to a po­si­tion in the core gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship as a mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee in June.

He at­tended a cul­tural fes­ti­val in Ningbo on Nov 24 and de­liv­ered a speech at the open­ing cer­e­mony, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

Alocal source said Hong’s re­ported “se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tion of Party dis­ci­pline” was not con­nected to his cur­rent po­si­tion at the pub­lic­ity of­fice. The mat­ters un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion are al­leged to have hap­pened when he held posts in the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment zone in Cixi and later served as the city’s deputy Party chief, ac­cord­ing to the source.

Hong is al­leged to have mis­used his pow­ers in land plan­ning and real es­tate de­vel­op­ment from2001 to 2006 in Cixi, and helped cover il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties by a busi­ness­man in the city in 2009, the source said.

He is said to have col­luded with real es­tate de­vel­op­ers, buy­ing houses fromthem at un­rea­son­ably low­prices in Hongzhou and Shang­hai, where priceswere sky­rock­et­ing.

The source said Hong had been re­ceiv­ing dou­ble pay since Fe­bru­ary 2006 as he held a Party post in Cixi and was head of the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment zone in the re­gion, and had ac­cepted an ex­tra an­nual salary of more than 200,000 yuan ($32,000).

Hong Ji­ax­i­ang, head of the pub­lic­ity of­fice at Ningbo, Zhe­jiang prov­ince

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