A senior Chinese government inspector, a long-time colleague of Vice-President Wang Qishan including when the latter was President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft tsar, has been placed under a corruption probe, it was announced on Friday.
Dong Hong, who himself is a former senior disciplinary inspector for the central government, was under investigation for “suspected serious violation of laws and party rules”, according to a terse statement by the National Supervisory Commission (NSC), the country’s top anti-graft watchdog.
Dong was one of the group leaders of central inspection groups during Xi’s first term, when Wang was head of powerful anti-corruption agency the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) and spearheaded Xi’s unprecedented anti-graft drive. The CCDI later expanded to become a corruption super-watchdog, the NSC.
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Some past media reports about Dong, as well as his biography on Baike, China’s equivalent of Wikipedia, were no longer accessible by late Friday afternoon.
State-backed newspaper Ta Kung Pao reported in 2014 that Dong had a long-term working relationship with Wang beginning in 1998, sharing stints in Guangdong, Hainan and Beijing, and at the now defunct State Council General Office of Economic Reform.
Chinese news outlet Caixin said that although Dong had worked in Guangdong since 1992, he was promoted to be the provincial government’s deputy secretary general only in 2000, around the time Wang left Guangdong.
A Beijing-based source familiar with the Communist Party’s disciplinary workings said that although Dong seemed to have followed Wang’s movements, there was no need to “think too much” about the link between them. “Many comrades who worked on the nationwide anti-corruption campaign since 2012 with Wang are still holding leading disciplinary positions,” they said.
Dong was also a member of staff at the Communist Party’s General Office, according to a 2017 report by Hebei province’s official news outlet.
Born in 1953, Dong later became a deputy head of the Party Literature Research Centre under the Communist Party’s Central Committee in 2006, before rejoining Wang at the CCDI as a senior inspector, including as leader of one of the central inspection groups.
Wang stepped down as anti-graft tsar to become vice-president in Xi’s second term in the 2017-18 transition. He appeared on state television’s main news bulletin on Wednesday with Xi and other leaders at an official dinner celebrating National Day, which fell on Thursday.
Sent to Guangdong in 1997 to fix a local financial crisis, Wang became its vice-governor the following year then returned to Beijing to head the General Office of Economic Reform in 2000. He was promoted to be Hainan provincial party secretary in 2002, but abruptly summoned back to become acting Beijing mayor in 2003 to handle the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in the capital. His crisis management skills earned him a reputation as a “firefighter”.
Additional reporting by William Zheng
More from South China Morning Post:
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- The curious corruption case of China’s former securities chief Liu Shiyu and his lenient treatment
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This article China investigates former aide of Vice-President Wang Qishan for alleged corruption first appeared on South China Morning Post