News eDaily25 Sep 2017

China:Ex-CIRC head Xiang Junbo to be tried in court

25 Sep 2017

China's ruling Communist Party has expelled the nation's former top insurance regulator after an anti-corruption watchdog said investigations found serious violations of party discipline, reported Reuters.

Xiang will be handed over to legal authorities, said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in a statement, meaning he will be prosecuted.

CCDI said an investigation had determined that Xiang Junbo, former CIRC Chairman, had "committed serious violations of political discipline and rules" for personal political interests.

The statement also said Xiang is suspected of bribery and accused him of "engaging in superstitious activities", an allegation often levelled at discredited officials to further tarnish their names.

Xiang, who had also served as a member of the central bank's monetary policy committee, was removed from his position in April for suspected "serious disciplinary violations", a phrase that usually refers to graft.

As head of the insurance regulator, Xiang oversaw rapid growth of the insurance industry, along with liberalisation of investment rules that provided insurers greater latitude to invest more of their assets at home and overseas.

Xiang was previously a deputy central bank governor and vice chief at the National Audit Office.

He is the most senior financial regulator to be targeted by the Chinese government's ongoing fight against graft.

President Xi Jinping has presided over a far-reaching anti-corruption drive since coming to power in late 2012, punishing more than a million party members, jailing top military figures and retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang, the most senior official toppled for corruption since 1949.

The CCDI announcement came ahead of the all-important five-yearly congress of the Communist Party which will start on 18 October, during which leadership changes are expected to be announced.


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