Crackdown on Xi Jinping bribes targets tech minister
China’s Minister of Industry and Technology Xiao Yaqing is under investigation by the Chinese Communist Party’s deeply feared internal watchdog, becoming the latest high-ranking executive to breach the president’s corruption crackdown Xi Jinping.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said the 62-year-old was suspected of “violating discipline and the law”, without giving further details. Ambiguous wording is often a precursor to more specific accusations of CCDI corruption.
Xiao, head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology since 2020, held a high-level position leading Beijing’s efforts for technological self-sufficiency, including in computer chips and telecommunications, a national security priority for Xi’s government.
He was previously head of the State Administration for Market Regulation, China’s market watchdog.
The CCDI probe into Xiao comes as Xi’s long anti-corruption crusade has intensified ahead of a crucial party congress later this year, when the president is expected to secure an unprecedented third term.
The nearly 10-year-old anti-corruption campaign has long been seen by analysts as having a dual purpose of weeding out corruption from Chinese politics, government and business, as well as purging Xi’s rivals and possible threats. future.
The investigation into Xiao follows that of tens of thousands of officials since Xi came to power in late 2012.
But the populist anti-corruption campaign has intensified since late last year, when the CCDI surveyed up to 25 major public financial institutions.
After several months of inspections, the CCDI announced new investigations into a handful of financial regulators. Analysts say a new wave of corruption cases could be heralded.
On Wednesday, the CCDI said it had placed Chen Shuang, former chief executive of China Everbright, a Hong Kong-listed financial conglomerate controlled by the Chinese state, under investigation. The CCDI said Chen was suspected of “violations of the law” but did not provide further information.
The 54-year-old, who resigned from Everbright in 2019, was president of the Hua Jing Society, a Hong Kong-based social group for elite Chinese ‘principalities’ – as the children of top government officials are called. left. In 2016, the group attempted to buy out English football club Liverpool.
Xi’s targeting of “tigers and flies,” or high- and low-ranking government officials, has mainly brought down members of the 95 million-strong CCP, including top leaders such as Ling Jihua, a top aide to the CCP. former President Hu Jintao, and Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security chief.
According to senior Western officials, including Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Beijing routinely forces fleeing Chinese to return from foreign soil as part of a crackdown on corruption.
Extralegal tactics by the CCDI and Chinese security agents include coercion and covert overseas missions, including kidnappings.
Additional reporting by Primrose Riordan in Hong Kong