xi jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at a ceremony to present commemorative medals of the 70th anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, to World War Two veterans at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 2, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee


President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive has spread to one of his power bases, with a deputy governor of Fujian province becoming the latest target of the seemingly ever-widening campaign.

Xu Gang, 56, was suspected of “seriously violating discipline and law”, said the Communist Party’s graft-buster, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, using a standard euphemism for corruption.

Xu is the first official from the province to become ensnared in the campaign, which has been running for the past two years.

Sources close to the Fujian provincial government said rumours of an investigation into Xu had been circulating in local circles for the past six months.

“Xu is well-known and criticised for his high-handed style when he was party chief of the province’s richest city, Quanzhou. The provincial leadership received many complaints from his subordinates and local people,” said one official, who requested anonymity.

A letter published on the internet in 2011, written by someone claiming to be “a Quanzhou retired cadre”, described Xu as “an arbitrary party chief for the property industry”.

The letter alleged that Xu had meddled in the real estate industry and had been motivated by personal profit when, despite a ban on development in the area, he promoted at least three projects in Quanzhou’s old town.

It also claimed that Xu had served as a private driver to the former Fujian party chief Lu Zhangong in an effort to win his trust.

The provincial official told the Post the close relationship with Lu was the key factor behind Xu’s promotion to party head of Quanzhou in 2008.

“Xu had spared no effort in cultivating a good relationship with Lu. That’s why Lu sent him to the most important and richest region, something Xu had long desired,” the official said.

The official said Xu might have run into trouble over his involvement in development projects in Quanzhou’s Quangang district. Quangang is a key part of the central government-led Cross-Strait Economic Zone, which was formed to boost economic ties with Taiwan.

The announcement of the investigation into Xu came one day after theSoutheast Express reported that the provincial government had appointed Xu as director of a new labour dispute arbitration committee.

Xu’s apparent downfall may affect Lu, who was Xi’s boss in the early 2000s. Lu is now one of the incumbent vice-chairmen of the country’s top advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Xi began his rapid ascent of the career ladder in Fujian. Xi became deputy party chief of the province in 1995 and governor in 1999 before moving to Zhejiang in 2002.

As reported by Business Insider