The current anti-corruption drive , which has already taken some surprisingly powerful heads, has taken another high-profile victim in the form of Shanghai Party Secretary, Chen Liangyu. According to the International Herald Tribune, he was “detained” on Sunday:
“It is exceedingly rare in China for members of the ruling Politburo to face legal trouble, even when the authorities have evidence of corrupt activities by them or people close to them. [President] Hu almost certainly would not have approved of the action unless he considered Chen an obstacle to his political control or his policy agenda.”
Forbes adds, that the business impact has been swift, and that:
“Several Shanghai-based stocks were hit after the news that China’s central government has sacked Shanghai’s communist party secretary Chen Liangyu over a widening pension fund scandal.”
While there are, as always, political undercurrents to the move, it is a clear indication that the anti-corruption drive still has fuel in the tank – and strong support from the centre. It is also clear that people in high places have a long way to fall, and that they can carry plenty of hangers-on with them on their descent (i.e. “guanxi” and “opportunism” need to be carefully managed…to say the least).
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