February 8, 2017 / 11:18 AM / a year ago

China punishes former minister, deputy in graft probe

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s ruling Communist Party on Wednesday said it was punishing a former civil affairs minister and an ex-deputy for dereliction of duty, after finding that systemic corruption problems plagued the ministry they ran.

Former minister Li Liguo and former vice minister Dou Yupei did not do their jobs properly and were negligent, the party’s anti-graft watchdog said in a brief statement.

“The work unit they had jurisdiction over had a systemic corruption problem,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said, without giving details.

Both men are to receive what the party called administrative punishments, following an investigation announced last month.

Li will be allowed to stay in the party but will lose many of his rights for two years, while being kept “under watch”, the watchdog added.

Dou, who received a “serious” internal party warning, will retire early, it said.

Neither man could be reached for comment.

Li was in charge of the ministry, charged with overseeing tasks such as disaster relief, from 2010 until November 2016.

China’s President Xi Jinping has waged war on corruption for the last four years, saying it threatens the very survival of the Communist Party.

Scores of senior officials in the party, the government, the military and state-owned enterprises have been caught up in the campaign and punished, many with lengthy jail terms.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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