by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 13, 2012
A top Chinese provincial official has been sacked for "serious violations of discipline", state media said Thursday, the first such firing since the Communist Party's new leader vowed to fight graft.
Li Chuncheng has been removed from his post as deputy party secretary of the southwestern province of Sichuan and is suspected of "serious violations of discipline", the official Xinhua news agency said.
No other details of his alleged wrongdoing were revealed but disciplinary violations are often linked to corruption.
State media earlier this month announced that Li had been put under investigation. He is the highest-level official to be sacked since Xi Jinping vowed to crack down on graft when he was named as head of the ruling party last month.
Xi is due to take over the state presidency from Hu Jintao in March as part of China's once-a-decade leadership transition.
"A large body of evidence has shown us that the issue of corruption is growing more intense and in the end will kill the party and the country," Xi said in a speech on November 19.
According to Xinhua, Li was himself named as an alternate member of the party's new 205-member Central Committee during the power handover.
Overseas Chinese news reports said Li may be linked to irregularities at the Borui Group, a Sichuan-based conglomerate with a wide range of interests including media, real estate, hotel management and pharmaceuticals.
State broadcaster China Central Television said this week Li could be under investigation for offering bribes in exchange for promotions while he served as a lower-level official in Heilongjiang province in the northeast in the 1990s.
He also allegedly took huge kickbacks when he was in charge of housing in Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital, the report said.
Li reportedly had links to senior party leader Zhou Yongkang, who as part of the changeover stepped down from overseeing the police, judiciary and internal security.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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