Caixin
May 12, 2020 05:57 PM
POLITICS & LAW

‘Two-Faced’ Provincial Governor Admits to Amassing Over $100 Million in Ill-Gotten Gains

What’s new: Shaanxi province’s former Communist Party Secretary has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes worth hundreds of millions of yuan, state-run CCTV reported.

At a Monday trial at the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin, Zhao Zhengyong admitted to using his positions including Shaanxi’s Communist Party chief, the province’s governor and member of its Political and Legal Affairs Commission between 2003 and 2018 to obtain contracts, promotions and business benefits, illegally accumulating wealth worth 717 million yuan ($101 million).

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On May 11, a Tianjin court held the first public hearing in the bribery trial of Zhao Zhengyong, former vice chairman of the National People’s Congress’ Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee and ex-Communist Party chief of Shaanxi province. Photo: Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People’s Court

Zhao still hadn’t gotten his hands on 291 million yuan of the total by the time of his arrest last year, CCTV reported. The court has not yet passed sentence.

Background: Zhao, a 69-year-old with a reputation for ruthlessness, was dubbed a “shameless two-faced person,” by government outlets after his detention, referring to the lip service he had paid to various central government’s orders he received but ignored while in office.

As the first provincial-level official in 2019 to fall in Beijing’s lengthy anti-corruption campaign, the probe into his affairs revealed an extensive network of corruption that implicated family members, fellow officials and business associates in areas including Shaanxi’s oil, coal, property and finance sectors. A Caixin investigation found Zhao installed associates in major state companies such as Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co. Ltd., Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group Co. Ltd. and Shaanxi Gas Group Co. Ltd.

Contact reporter Dave Yin (davidyin@caixin.com)

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