(Amends wording in paragraph two)
SHANGHAI, Jan 30 (Reuters) - China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled a former city mayor for bribery and abuse of power, one of the most senior government officials to fall victim to President Xi Jinping’s campaign against graft.
Ji Jianye, who was mayor of Nanjing, “took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others (and) received a huge amount of money and gifts either by himself or through family members”, the party’s corruption watchdog said on Thursday.
“(He was) morally corrupt,” it said, citing an investigation. The findings against Ji would be handed to judicial authorities to handle, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website (www.ccdi.gov.cn).
Ji was removed as Nanjing mayor on Oct. 19, two days after the government announced he was under investigation for suspected “disciplinary violations” - a term often used for corruption - and breaking the law.
Ji had served since the early 1990s in other cities in coastal Jiangsu province before becoming mayor of Nanjing, the provincial capital.
Xi has made the fight against endemic corruption a central theme of his administration, vowing to pursue both high-flying “tigers”, or senior officials, and lower-ranking “flies”.
Reports by state-run media have linked Ji’s case to that of Zhu Xingliang, an interior decoration billionaire and founder of Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration Co Ltd who was arrested this week on suspicion of corruption. (Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Robert Birsel)