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Corruption charges against top Chinese diplomat

world Updated: Jan 02, 2015 23:49 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A senior Chinese diplomat has been placed under investigation for disciplinary violation, the government announced Friday as President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign continues to indict thousands of government and Communist Party of China (CPC) officials across the country.

“Disciplinary violation” often means corruption but the brief official statement said little else about why assistant foreign minister Zhang Kunsheng had been sacked and the exact nature of the charges brought against him.

“China's assistant foreign minister Zhang Kunsheng is now under investigation for ‘suspected disciplinary violation’”it was announced on the website of China’s foreign ministry on Friday.

Zhang has been removed from his office, a spokesperson was quoted as saying. He was the head of the ministry's protocol department, state media reported.

In his New Year’s Eve address to the nation on December 31, Xi said that he hoped to see stricter CPC rules and better working practices in the new year, “waving high the sword against corruption” and “fastening the cage of regulations”.

“In a socialist country under the CPC leadership, once identified, every corrupt official will be dealt with severely,” Xi said.

Earlier, Xi had famously talked about the anti-corruption campaign being launched against both “tigers” and “flies” involved in corruption.

In December, the CPC expelled former internal security chief Zhou Yongkang over allegations that he took bribes and leaked official information. Also, last month, Ling Jihua, an aide to former President Hu Jintao was placed under investigation on charges of corruption.

Several thousand officials have so far been charged with corruption since Xi took over reins of the CPC two years ago.