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China executes two former vice-mayors for bribery

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Beijing – China executed two former vice-mayors from two booming eastern cities for taking millions of dollars in bribes, the Supreme Court and state media said on Tuesday.

The execution of the former vice-mayors is taking place as China strives to show it is being tough on graft.

Xu Maiyong, the former vice-mayor of Hangzhou, and Jiang Renjie, the former vice-mayor of Suzhou, were executed in the morning, the court said in a brief statement on its website.

“Xu used his official power to interfere with project contracts and to help companies and people obtain land, promotions and tax breaks,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

He received 145 million yuan in bribes and embezzled another 53.59 million yuan from a state-owned property development firm, it added.

Jiang took bribes, including more than 108 million yuan in cash, from property developers, and was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, Xinhua said.

China’s ruling Communist Party has repeatedly vowed to stamp out official corruption, a key source of public discontent as the rapidly growing economy gives senior officials opportunities to use their power for private gain.

China sacked Shanghai’s powerful Communist Party boss in 2007 and the Railways Minister earlier this year.

Critics say the fight against graft is hampered by the lack of an independent judiciary, rather than one which answers firstly to the Party, and by officials not being held accountable to an electorate or by an independent media, which is also tightly controlled. (Reuters/NAN)

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