(TibetanReview.net, Dec 24, 2014) – China’s minister for the United Front Work Department, which handles relations with non-party organizations and Tibet, is under investigation for corruption, reported Bloomberg News Dec 22. Ling Jihua, 58, a vice chairman of China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is a former top aide to retired President Hu Jintao. He is now under investigation for alleged serious disciplinary violations, the report cited the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection as saying in a statement dated Dec 22.
Ling, seen as one of the most powerful officials under Hu, was considered a top candidate for the party’s Politburo before his ascent of party ranks ended after accusations that he tried to cover up details of the crash of a Ferrari that killed his son in Mar 2012, the South China Morning Post reported in September that year.
As the head of the party’s General Office before that incident, Ling was responsible for the safety, health and confidentiality of Politburo Standing Committee members.
The report noted that the anti-corruption commission had earlier said on Jun 19, 2014, that Ling Jihua’s brother Ling Zhengce, one of the top officials in coal-rich Shanxi province, was under investigation for alleged “severe” violation of law and party discipline. Also, Ling Wancheng, a businessman and another brother of Ling Jihua, too was under investigation, the Communist Party-owned Global Times newspaper was cited as saying in an editorial on its website Dec 22. “Ling’s family was consumed by the power he possessed and abused it for ill-gotten gains,” it was quoted as saying.
“Ling’s fall sends a strong signal to the public that the anti-graft endeavor will be a long-running undertaking,” the editorial was quoted as saying. “The central government has decided to face its problems directly. Such an attitude gives hope and confidence to Chinese society.”