2017-05-25 11:53:23

A high-ranking government official has been fired and stripped of his Communist Party membership for allegedly forging his résumé and engaging in graft, state news agency Xinhua reported Thursday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Party’s corruption watchdog, concluded after an investigation that Lu Enguang, until recently an official in the Ministry of Justice, falsified large amounts of personal information, concealing key elements of his identity and interests from the Party. The information included his age, Party membership documents, work experience, educational background, and family details, the CCDI said.

Lu is the former head of the justice ministry’s political affairs department, which is in charge of political and ideological matters within the ministry. Previously, he had also been a member of the ministry’s leading Party group.

Lu’s activities came under scrutiny at the end of last year, with the disgraced former official being accused of a host of separate offenses. The CCDI says that he paid huge sums in bribes to other government officials in the hope of burnishing his official or commercial credentials, and that he used personal connections to buy official titles and honors as part of a plan to gradually transform himself from a private entrepreneur into a vice-ministerial cadre. He is also thought to have mixed his commercial interests, in the form of a number of private businesses, with official work.

China’s sprawling bureaucracy is bound by strict internal disciplinary rules designed to uphold the professional and moral integrity of government cadres. While disciplinary breaches usually result in demotion or damage to officials’ promotion prospects, cadres suspected of unlawful activity are frequently relieved of their official duties while their cases are referred to external legal oversight bodies.

“Lu Enguang’s values are severely distorted and seriously contravene Party discipline,” read the Xinhua report. “He is also suspected of criminal activity. This has seriously damaged the image of the Party and its system for selecting and appointing officials. The issue of his suspected unlawful activity and payments will be referred to the judicial bodies to be processed in accordance with the law.”

President Xi Jinping’s campaign against official corruption, launched in 2012, was recently televised in the form of the fictional series “In the Name of the People.” The anti-graft show has proved a hit, and has even been made required viewing for some local cadres in China.

As part of the ongoing campaign targeting official corruption, Beijing recently rolled out more stringent official vetting regulations. The new rules require most rank-and-file government officials in the city to divulge 20 pages of personal information annually. Officials may also be subjected to spot checks from the state’s disciplinary organizations to confirm that the information they provide is accurate.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: Li Kun for Sixth Tone)