China jails top of­fi­cial over US$36 mil­lion bribes

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A CHI­NESE court handed a for­mer top pro­vin­cial of­fi­cial a sus­pended death sen­tence for bribery, the lat­est se­nior politi­cian to be jailed in a high-pro­file, anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign.

Bai En­pei, the for­mer top Com­mu­nist Party of­fi­cial in the south­west­ern prov­ince of Yun­nan was handed the sen­tence – usu­ally com­muted to life in prison – for ac­cept­ing bribes worth more than 240 mil­lion yuan (US$36 mil­lion) a court in Anyang city said on an of­fi­cial mi­croblog.

Graft has be­come en­demic in China and Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping launched a much-pub­li­cised drive against cor­rup­tion after he came to power in 2012, vow­ing to tar­get both high-level “tigers” and low-rank­ing “flies”.

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

The rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party pro­moted Mr Bai to the top-rank­ing post in Yun­nan from 2001 to 2011, be­fore putting him un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2014.

The court said he had ac­cepted bribes in ex­change for giv­ing out rights to real es­tate and min­ing projects, and po­lit­i­cal pro­mo­tions. –

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