Jun 24, 2014 05:50 PM

Fifth Energy Administration Official Detained in Just over Two Months

(Beijing) – A fifth official at the National Energy Administration (NEA) has come under investigation in just over two months, several sources say.

Liang Bo, vice director of NEA's electricity department, was detained last week, several sources close to the situation said on June 23. It was unclear what authorities detained Liang.

No government body has provided information about the case.

Four NEA officials became the targets of corruption investigations in April and May. They were Xu Yongsheng, the NEA's vice director; Hao Weiping, director of the NEA's nuclear power department; Wei Pengyuan, vice director of the coal department; and Wang Jun, director of renewable energy department.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported on May 21 that prosecutors launched criminal investigations into Hao and Wei. Two days later, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the country's top prosecutor's office, said on its weibo microblog account that Xu and Wang faced bribery charges.

Liu Tienan, the former director of the NEA who was sacked in March last year, has been charged with bribery and abuse of power, the national prosecutor's office said on June 23.

Liang started his career in the State Planning Commission, the predecessor of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner.

He later worked for the electricity department of the NDRC and became the head of the coal-fired power department of the NEA after its establishment in 2008. Liang was promoted to vice director of the electricity department in 2012.

Liang's last public appearance was on June 6 when he visited the Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute of China Energy Engineering Group Co. in Beijing with several other NEA officials.

The NEA, which is under the authority of the NDRC, is the state regulatory body in charge of setting strategy and making policies for the energy industry. The electricity department has the power to approve major power projects.

The energy sector has been at the center of an anti-corruption campaign that has affected various sectors and government agencies since Xi Jinping was named the Communist Party's general secretary in November 2012.

A number of officials and executives at state companies involved in power, oil and other energy sectors have been sacked on corruption charges, including Jiang Jiemin, former head of the country's state asset regulator and the ex-chairman of oil giant China National Petroleum Corp.

(Rewritten by Han Wei)

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