Caixin
Dec 30, 2013 06:55 PM

Disgraced CPPCC Official 'Was Target of Petitioners'


(Beijing) – A former member of the country's top political advisory body who is now investigated by the Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog has been the target of many petitions from business people who say he abused his power, a source close to the matter says.

Many of the letters were sent to the party's Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC) after Yang Gang, 60, was transferred to the capital in 2010 to become deputy director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the source said.

Yang also became a deputy director of the economics committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) this year. He was removed from the post, and his membership in the CPPCC was also stripped, Xinhua News reported on December 30.

This came shortly after the CDIC said it has opened an investigation into Yang for "severe violations of the law," a phrase that often means corruption. Investigation by the CDIC usually marks the beginning of the end of an official's career.

Yang was born in the far northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and spent 41 years there working his way up the ranks. He became the party secretary of the region's capital, Urumqi, in 1999, and later became a member of the party's standing committee in Xinjiang.

In 2006, Yang became the deputy secretary of Xinjiang's party committee and the deputy chairman for the administration of the autonomous region.

Yang was known as decisive person who would "stick his neck out for his friends," a source familiar with him said. One of his former colleagues said he was also very aggressive pushing his ideas, and would demote people who disagreed with him.

His most controversial actions involved three urban projects in and around Urumqi, the sources say. Two of them concerned transforming wasteland into parks, and the other involved moving a zoo.

In return for completing the projects, property companies were allowed to also develop commercial properties. One of the companies has reportedly fallen short of its obligation to revamp the wasteland, but still managed to secure land for commercial development. The company's manager, Zhao Xingru, apparently had close ties with Yang.

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