China replaces Communist Party leader in coal-rich province amid 'corruption problem'
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has replaced the Communist Party leader of the coal-rich northern province of Shanxi amid what a top leader said was a grim corruption problem and a troubled political scene, state media reported.
Wang Rulin will take up the post of Shanxi party chief, replacing Yuan Chunqing, who will be shifted to the central government's leading group for rural work, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Wang previously served as the governor and party boss of the northeastern province of Jilin, bordering North Korea, Xinhua reported earlier.
Several officials in the province have come under investigation for corruption, including provincial vice governor Ren Runhou, who is suspected of "serious violations of the law", China's top anti-graft body said on Friday. Ren is the latest target of an intensifying crackdown on corruption under President Xi Jinping.
Liu Yunshan, a member of the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, told Shanxi officials the province's "political ecology" was riddled with problems and the situation with regard to party building, clean government and the fight against corruption was grim, Xinhua said.
"The party headquarters attaches great importance to the problems in Shanxi, and attaches great importance to the development of Shanxi's leaders and officials, and has decided to institute a major reshuffle of the provincial party committee," Xinhua quoted Liu as saying.
President Xi has vowed to take down high-flying "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" in an expanding war against pervasive graft.
Shanxi is one of China's top coal producing provinces and its economy boomed on the back of soaring energy demand over the past decade.
Shanxi's governor is Li Xiaopeng, a former chairman of Huaneng Power International Inc and the son of ex-premier Li Peng.
The chairman of Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank), the country's third-largest listed lender, plans to take on the role of deputy party secretary in the country's northern province of Jilin.
Jiang Chaoliang, who became chairman of AgBank in January 2012, plans to assist with reform in the province, according to a statement posted on the website of The People's Government of Jilin Province late on Sunday.
Jiang resigned from his post at AgBank effective Aug. 31, the bank said in a statement on Monday.