China’s Hu orders sacking of vice mayor-source – Benjamin Kang Lim

From Reuters:

Chinese President Hu Jintao ordered the sacking of a vice mayor at a secret meeting to prevent political patrons from protecting him, a government source said on Thursday, in a sign Hu was determined to fight graft.

But many analysts said the fall of Beijing Vice Mayor Liu Zhihua this month was as much about political posturing by Hu ahead of a leadership reshuffle at a crucial five-yearly meeting of the Communist Party next year as it was about corruption.

Liu, 57, responsible for urban planning and awarding $40 billion worth of projects to upgrade infrastructure ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, was replaced by another vice mayor who rose through the Communist Youth League, Hu’s power base.

For more on the developing corruption case, see also “Corruption scandal in Beijing Olympic construction widens” from DPA. See also this previous CDT post on the case against the general manager of the Capital Group construction company.

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