30 September 2016
The former Communist Party secretary of the southern city of Guangzhou, Wan Qingliang, was given life sentence by a Chinese court, which found him guilty of corruption. He was under party investigation in 2014. He was handed over to legal authorities for prosecution. In China the courts are controlled by the party and would not challenge party findings. The Intermediate People’s Court of Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in its official microblog said that he had taken more than $15million in bribes, gifts and extortion in exchange for help with promotions and project approvals. His assets were also ordered to be seized.
The court said that he is being given a lighter sentence because he admitted his guilt and co-operated with the authorities in the investigation. He also handed over voluntarily evidence that was not discovered in the investigation.
The offence date back to 2000. At that time, he was head of the Communist Party Youth League in the province of Guangdong. Wan served as the party chief of Jiaoling County in Jieyang City, and vice governor of Guangdong Province before becoming Guangzhou’s party chief in 2011. He was the most senior official in the city outranking the mayor.
China is now in the midst of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping war on deep routed corruption. Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will be showing today a TV show depicting the lavish lifestyle of chief Wan Qingliang. It will feature luxurious clubs and high end restaurants Wan frequented. This is to be a part of ant-graft campaign of President Xi.
Xu Qiulin, also known as Xu Xiaowan, is the latest high-profile “public mistress”.  She admitted to having extramarital affairs with Wan Qingliang, in Guangzhou. She also had affairs with Chen Hongping in Jieyang, who was also charged with corruption. Xu had children with both men when they were long time colleagues in the city from 2004 to 2008, but managed to keep both of them in the dark about their respective affairs. Xu She was recently jailed for six years for offering bribes and gifts to a number of local officials to win a construction project contract. She was in charge of a large construction firm in Jieyang.