AP

Former Tibet official latest to fall in China graft sweep

Sep 29, 2022, 7:59 AM | Updated: 8:03 pm

Chinese military officers march down the steps of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday,...

Chinese military officers march down the steps of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. A former top graft buster at China's ministry for intelligence and counterintelligence has been indicted on bribery charges, just weeks before a major congress of the ruling Communist Party whose leader Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a signature issue. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING (AP) — A former vice governor of China’s sprawling Tibet region has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes, state media reported Friday.

Zhang Yongze is the latest high-level former official to be indicted on graft charges just weeks before a major congress of the ruling Communist Party, whose leader Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a signature issue.

Zhang “took advantage of his former positions and power to seek benefits for others” in obtaining government contracts and obtaining promotions, for which he “illegally accepted a large amount of money and valuables in return,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted the indictment as saying.

Zhang’s case is being handled by prosecutors and courts in the western province of Shaanxi, in keeping with the practice of moving cases elsewhere when high-ranking officials and serious charges are involved. High on the Tibetan Plateau, the region holds an abundance of mineral wealth and is run as a virtual police state to guard against pro-independence sentiment among its native population who are ethnically, linguistically and culturally distinct from China’s Han majority.

Deadly antigovernment protests swept across the region in 2008, fueled by heavy-handed Communist Party rule and a loss of economic opportunities to Chinese migrants. Security forces ruthlessly crushed the protests, with an unknown number imprisoned or executed.

On Wednesday, a former top graft buster at China’s ministry for intelligence and counterintelligence was indicted on bribery charges. Liu Yanping, who headed the State Security Ministry’s branch of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was a further reminder of Xi’s vow to attack corruption “amongst both the flies and tigers.”

On Friday, former deputy police minister Sun Lijun was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve on charges of manipulating the stock market, taking bribes and other offenses. The case involved at least two former Cabinet officials.

State media said Liu had accepted “huge” amounts of property from others in return for favors. Those often include derailing investigations or offering promotions for cash.

He was expelled from the party earlier this month in a sign he would be indicted, tried and almost certainly handed a lengthy prison term.

In that initial investigation, it was found that Liu had “lost his ideals and convictions,” was “downright corrupt politically.” He “traded political power for interests and distorted his power into a tool to seek political capital, personal benefits, and wealth,” the reports said.

Liu was found to have “engaged in superstitious activities” and accepted invitations to golf games, banquets, tours, and medical services from private business people “that may compromise his impartiality in the performance of official duties,” the reports said.

In Sun’s case, a former justice minister and a former ruling party official who were accused of colluding with him received similar penalties. Sun was convicted of collecting 646 million yuan ($91 million) in bribes and charged with using his official position in 2018 to manipulate stock trading to help a trader avoid losses. He also was accused of selling official jobs and abandoning his post during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier, Sun was named in a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department against Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn seeking to compel Wynn to register as a foreign agent. The department cited lobbying work it says Wynn performed for the Chinese government.

The lawsuit says senior officials including Sun wanted Wynn’s help in trying to have a Chinese citizen’s visa application denied, according to the complaint. Beijing wanted the man, who was charged with corruption and sought political asylum, returned to China.

Xi launched his anti-graft campaign shortly after taking over as party leader in late 2012. It has at times been seen as a tool to remove political rivals and intimidate the vast bureaucracy into doing his bidding. It also has sometimes sparked a public backlash, as in the case of the rigid enforcement of zero-COVID restrictions that have hobbled the economy and upended the lives of millions.

At the party congress, Xi is expected to try to break with tradition and award himself a third five-year term as leader.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: An Alaska Airlines passenger jet approaches to land at the Los Angeles International Airport...

Associated Press

Man accused of stabbing another passenger on a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas charged

A man who witnesses say stabbed another passenger on an airline flight in January told authorities he intended to kill the victim.

2 days ago

Image: Dr. Candice Matthews, left, listens as Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds, right, with Darryl Geo...

Associated Press

Judge: Texas school legally punished Black student over hairstyle

A Black high school student's punishment by his Texas district for refusing to change his hairstyle doesn't violate state law, a judge said.

2 days ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program weeks after panel blowout on flight

Boeing said the head of its 737 program is leaving the company in an executive shake-up weeks after a door panel blew out on a flight over Oregon.

3 days ago

Image: The Alabama State Capitol is seen on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama....

Associated Press

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’ under state law

Critics say the Alabama embryo ruling may have sweeping implications for fertility treatments.

4 days ago

Image: People take cover during a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bow...

Associated Press

Two men charged with murder at Kansas City Chiefs parade

Minutes after Kansas City Chiefs players spoke at a victory celebration Wednesday, multiple people near the parade route were carried away on stretchers.

4 days ago

Image: A sign is on display above an ATM at a Capital One Café in Miami on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. ...

Associated Press

Capital One to buy Discover for $35B in deal combining major US credit card companies

The deal would bring together two of the nation's credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry.

4 days ago

Former Tibet official latest to fall in China graft sweep