BEIJING May 26 China's ruling Communist Party
has expelled a senior official of a state-run power equipment
maker for taking huge bribes in violation of the law, the
party's anti-graft watchdog said on Monday.
The removal of Huang Baodong, deputy general manager of
Power Construction Corporation of China, adds to evidence that
the power sector could be the latest to face anti-graft probes
by the government.
After Xi Jinping became president in March last year, China
has launched several probes into the energy sector, as part of a
broader campaign to clamp down on graft in a government widely
seen as rife with corruption.
But the drive is also seen as a tool to remove Xi's
opponents, in an unprecedented campaign that targets some of
China's most high-ranking officials.
"Huang Baodong took advantage of his position to seek
benefits for others, and accepted huge amounts of bribes from
others," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said
on its website, but gave no details of the sums involved.
"His behaviour constituted a serious violation of the law."
The government has not made clear who the targets of its
corruption investigation are.
But the party has already set its sights on the state-owned
energy sector, including State Grid Corp of China, PetroChina
, and its parent firm, China
National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).
Earlier this month, the party's anti-graft watchdog said it
was conducting inspections at Power Construction Corp and
state-controlled power equipment maker China XD Group.
In March, the chairman and the president of Three Gorges
Corp., the company that built the $59-billion project for the
world's biggest hydro-power scheme, stepped down, but they have
not been accused of any wrongdoing.
A crackdown on China's National Energy Administration (NEA)
is intensifying as two more top officials are being investigated
for taking bribes, state media said on Friday, days after probes
into two other NEA officials were announced.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)