The anti-corruption campaign by Chinese President Xi Jinping claimed one of its highest profile victims at the weekend when the Communist party’s anti-graft body announced that a vice-chairman of the nation’s top political advisory council is being investigated for “discipline violations”.
Su Rong, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is the most senior serving official to be probed since President Xi took power at the party’s 18th national congress in late 2012, vowing to root out graft in an attempt to tackle public discontent with party officials.
The party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a one-line statement on its website yesterday that Mr Su was under suspicion of violating party rules and state laws. No further details were provided but such wording typically refers to corruption
He is one of 23 vice-chairmen of the CPPCC, a political advisory body of more than 2,000 delegates, whose chair and vice-chairs hold the rank of state leaders.
Mr Su served as party chief in Gansu and Qinghai provinces, and was Jiangxi party boss from 2008 until March last year, when he was elevated to the national leadership. Mr Xi has made the anti-corruption campaign a hallmark of his administration, and Beijing has provided a steady stream of announcements of investigations against government officials.
Widespread corruption threatens the legitimacy of the Communist party’s rule and Mr Xi vowed to attack graft by clamping down on “tigers and flies” – high-level and low-level officials – who are found to be corrupt. His biggest target is Zhou Yongkang, a powerful former member of the Politburo Standing Committee.
Mr Su was last seen publicly last week when he was in Qinghai province, visiting local businesses and inspecting a region that was struck by a deadly earthquake in 2010.
A number of senior Jiangxi officials have been investigated or sentenced in recent months, including Chen Anzhong, former deputy director of the standing committee of the provincial People’s Congress.
Rumours that Mr Su was under investigation began circulating last year following comments made by the former wife of Zhou Jianhua, who chaired the standing committee of the People’s Congress of Xinyu in Jiangxi province.
Additional reporting by Zhang Yan