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SINO DAILY
China expels senior official from ruling party
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Feb 16, 2015


China jails health official for 19 years over bribes
Shanghai (AFP) Feb 16, 2015 - A Chinese court has sentenced a health official in commercial hub Shanghai to 19 years in jail after he accepted bribes and embezzled more than 4.4 million yuan ($720,000), state media said.

The Shanghai Number One Intermediate People's Court on Sunday sentenced Huang Fengping, former deputy director for the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Media reports have previously linked his case to British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which China fined 3.0 billion yuan last year for giving bribes, but the Shanghai court made no public mention of GSK.

Huang accepted more than 3.0 million yuan in bribes and embezzled over 1.4 million yuan, Xinhua said, adding he was unable to account for 11 million yuan in assets.

China's healthcare sector is widely considered to be riddled with graft, partly the result of an opaque tendering system for drugs, and also due to doctors' low salaries.

The Shanghai Daily newspaper said Huang was found to have more than 400 envelopes stuffed with cash in his home as well as gold bars and foreign currency in the trunk of his car. Police arrested him in December 2013.

A neurosurgeon by training, Huang took advantage of his positions -- which also included vice president of Shanghai's Huashan Hospital and head of an industry association -- by accepting bribes from pharmaceutical companies to promote their products, reports said.

In 2014, a Chinese court found GSK had used bribery to boost sales and took kickbacks from travel agencies to organise conferences that never took place, according to previous reports by state media.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has touted a crackdown on corruption since assuming the Communist Party's top post in 2012, targeting both high-level "tigers" and low-level "flies".

China's Communist Party dismissed a top political advisory official and expelled him from the ranks of the ruling party, its anti-corruption watchdog said Monday, as the country mounts a sweeping crackdown on graft.

Su Rong, 66, a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was investigated for "serious discipline violations", according to a statement on the commission's website.

The CPPCC is a discussion body that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure.

The probe found that Su had "taken advantage of his position to seek benefit for others, accepted huge bribes and abused power leading to significant loss of state assets", the statement said, without giving further details.

Graft has become endemic in China and 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".

Su was described as "one of the graft 'tigers'" in a two-paragraph report by the official Xinhua news agency announcing the expulsion.

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.

Previous reports in Chinese media have connected Su to corrupt land deals made in Jiangxi province during his time as party secretary there.

Su's case will soon be transferred to judicial authorities for criminal prosecution, the statement said.

Previously, Su was also the Communist Party secretary of Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

He was a vice chairman of the CPPCC for less than two years and while the position comes with political prestige, it is largely a ceremonial job tasked with advising China's rubberstamp parliament.


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