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Saturday, November 13, 2004

 

Chinese Communist anti-corruption fighter busted

A Chinese Communist Party cadre who came to notice throughout China by denouncing official corruption has been relieved of his duties and placed under a form of house arrest while authorities investigate his conduct, Washington Post reported.

Huang Jingao, party secretary for Lianjiang county in Fujian province, attracted attention in August when he posted an open letter on the CPC’s People's Daily website complaining that his efforts to investigate and prosecute corruption were being thwarted by party leaders and government officials because of what he called "the underlying rules" by which unscrupulous functionaries protect one another.

Huang's anti-corruption efforts centered on what he described as crooked deals in which officials took bribes to confiscate peasants' land and sell it at below-market prices to developers.

Within days, the letter disappeared and Huang was accused of "individualism" by higher-level, Fujian officials and ordered to "do a complete self-examination."

Taking to wearing a bullet-proof vest after receiving 26 death threats, Huang has since found himself effectively replaced by his deputy as the county's party secretary and confined to his home or office.

"Lianjiang county officials have been told to make a clear break from Huang Jin'gao and march in step with Fuzhou," a government official told Reuters.

Huang's office, home and cell phones are bugged and he is watched around the clock, other sources said. His request to attend the Central Party School in Beijing, which trains Communist Party apparatchiks, has been rejected.

He declined to be interviewed, saying that as a Communist Party member for more than 30 years, he was not allowed to talk to foreign media without the permission of his superiors. "I can't talk to foreign media. I would be breaching party discipline," Huang told Reuters by telephone.

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