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Cover Stories Series 2013> Web Trap> News
UPDATED: December 13, 2012
Chinese Cop Cleared of Graft Suspicion after Speedy Probe

The discipline watchdog has cleared a cop in south China of graft suspicion after muckcrackers accused him of gross corruption that had recently brought down a number of low- and mid- level Chinese officials across the country.

The commission for discipline inspection of Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Shunde district committee in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, said it did not find disciplinary problems after probing Zhou Xikai, deputy chief of Shunde's public security bureau, for online allegations.

Zhou was pushed to the spotlight after a post surfaced on the Internet accusing him of concealing property assets totalling 60 million yuan ($960,000) -- way beyond his income levels -- and dodging the family planning policy which limits the majority of urban couples to only one child.

The discipline watchdog said it investigated Zhou's assets and found no violations in the source of his property wealth.

The deputy cop owns two houses -- a villa on mortgage valued at 8.37 million yuan ($1.34 million) and a three-story house he spent 900,000 yuan ($144,360) in construction, the official probe finds. Zhou's wife, Liang Shujiao, made 1.67 million yuan ($267,868) down payment for the villa and pays 30,151 yuan ($4836) a month for the mortgage.

For the other claim, the official probe finds that Liang quit her job at a local bank and emigrated to the Philippines and obtained the resident's permit there in May, six months before she gave birth to a second child in a Hong Kong hospital.

The discipline watchdog said the family planning policy does not apply to Liang as she had relinquished her household registration in China and her second child did not have Chinese household registration either.

In October, Guangdong sacked Cai Bin, a low-level official in provincial capital of Guangzhou, for discipline violations after an official probe confirmed online allegation that Cai owned 22 properties, a wealth way beyond a civil servant's income. The probe also found that Cai's son had obtained Australian citizenship.

Earlier this month, Guangdong announced plans to require officials to disclose their assets, as well as those of their relatives, to curb corruption.

A number of officials fell in the country's sweeping "cyber- anti-corruption" drive that has notably been gathering steam since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in November.

Xi Jinping, who took over Hu Jintao as the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, named corruption on top of the many pressing problems within the Party that need to be resolved in his first speech after being elected to the top post.

Experts hope that active participation of the Internet users and a responsive discipline watchdog may effectively clean the government clean.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2012)

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