Ex-Chinese minister to ‘be executed’
BEIJING - Reuters
Former minister Zhijun was charged with corruption and abuse of power. REUTERS photoChina formally charged today a former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, with corruption and abuse of power, setting up the first test of newly installed President Xi Jinping’s resolve to crack down on pervasive graft.
Liu faces either a lengthy jail sentence and possibly death. How severely he is dealt with will be an indicator of how seriously authorities will take the fight against corruption.
Liu “engaged in malpractice for personal gains and abuse of power, leading to huge losses of public properties and of the interests of the state and its people,” the official Xinhua news agency said. “As a state functionary, Liu sought benefits for others by taking advantage of his position, and accepted financial incentives from others, which were of a huge amount,” the news agency added.
China’s railway system has faced numerous problems over the past few years, including heavy debts from funding new high-speed lines, waste and fraud. The government has pledged to open the rail industry to private investment on an unprecedented scale. The ministry suffered a big blow to its image when a crash in 2011 between two high-speed trains killed 40 people.