Mayor of Chinese City Is Held by Communist Party Investigators

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HONG KONG -- Communist Party investigators have detained the mayor of Nanjing, a major city in eastern China, on allegations of "grave disciplinary violations," a term that almost always refers to corruption and abuses of power, state-run news media reported on Wednesday.

The mayor, Ji Jianye, appears to be the latest official affected by party leaders' efforts to convince citizens that they are serious about stifling official bribetaking and graft, a major source of disenchantment with the party. The brief report by the state news agency Xinhua announcing that Mr. Ji was under "organizational investigation" did not specify what allegations he faces.

In recent years, Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu Province, has sought to cast itself as a modern, progressive-minded city, drawing on the economic growth of nearby Shanghai and the Yangtze Delta region. But some Chinese news reports suggested that Mr. Ji had used that growth to illicitly enrich himself.

After becoming Nanjing's deputy mayor in 2009, and mayor in 2010, Mr. Ji, 56, oversaw sweeping building projects across the city that aroused public ire and created opportunities for graft, according to a report on the Web site of the People's Daily, the main newspaper of the Communist Party. The report cited Nanjing news media claims that the allegations against Mr. Ji involve sums of about 20 million renminbi, or about $3.3 million. Before moving to Nanjing, Mr. Ji served in other parts of Jiangsu Province, one of China's most prosperous regions.

Since assuming the leadership of the Communist Party in November, President Xi Jinping has repeatedly vowed to staunch corruption. He is overseeing a "mass line" political campaign intended to instill traditional communist virtues in officials. But he and other party officials have also indicated that they have no appetite for the sweeping political changes that liberal critics say are needed to restrain the power of officials and rein in abuses.

In China, officials accused of corruption and other misdeeds are almost always first investigated by party operatives, who decide whether to recommend criminal investigations that often lead to trials and convictions.


This article originally appeared in The New York Times. First Published October 17, 2013 2:01 PM


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