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China’s former justice minister Tang Yijun facing corruption probe, top anti-graft agency says

China’s former justice minister Tang Yijun is facing a corruption probe, the county’s top anti-graft agency has said.
In a brief statement released on its website on Tuesday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top anti-corruption and political disciplinary agency, said Tang, 63, chairman of the Jiangxi provincial political advisory body, was “undergoing disciplinary review and supervisory investigation” and was “suspected of serious violations of discipline and law” – a euphemism for corruption.

Tang was appointed as justice minister in April 2020, taking over from Fu Zhenghua, a former top police officer who was also placed under investigation a year after he stepped down from the same post.

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Fu, once one of China’s most powerful police chiefs, was accused of being part of a “political clique” led by former public security vice-minister Sun Lijun. He was jailed for life in September 2022 for taking 117 million yuan (US$16 million) in bribes and for using his position to cover up his brother’s crimes.

Wu Yingai, who was justice minister from 2005 to 2017, was stripped of her party membership four months after stepping down, after it was discovered that a senior law official had secured promotions using fake credentials.

Tang was removed from the post of justice minister in February 2023, a month before he was transferred to the political advisory role in Jiangxi province.

The downward trajectory of Tang’s political career began in October 2022, when he failed to secure a seat on the Communist Party’s 300-member Central Committee at the 20th national Congress, despite being a minister who was still years away from retirement

It is extremely rare for key Chinese ministers to be left out of the top decision-making body.

Tang had spent almost four decades climbing the political ladder in eastern Zhejiang province, where Chinese President Xi Jinping served as provincial party secretary for five years from 2002.

In 2016, after being sidelined for five years in a local political advisory body, Tang was appointed mayor of Ningbo after the downfall of the previous mayor, Lu Ziyue, and became the city’s party boss just three months later.

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His rapid political rise continued with a promotion to the post of provincial party leader of Zhejiang in 2017, and then becoming an alternate member of the Central Committee – the party’s elite ruling body – five months later.

Tang was transferred to northeast China’s Liaoning province in 2017 to be deputy party chief, and appointed governor of Liaoning in 2018, a role he held for two years before being promoted to justice minister.

Article was originally published from here

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