China investigates former top bank official for suspected corruption

China investigates former top bank official for suspected corruption
China investigates former top bank official for suspected corruption

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - File photo of performers travelling past Tiananmen Square with a float showing Chinese President Xi Jinping during the parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China October 1, 2019. — Reuters pic

BEIJING, Nov 4 — A top official at one of China’s biggest state-owned banks is under investigation for suspected corruption, the ruling Communist Party announced today.

The party’s top anti-corruption watchdog said Zhang Hongli was “suspected of serious disciplinary and legal violations”, an official byword for alleged graft.

Zhang previously served as the vice chief of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the world’s largest banks.

China’s President Xi Jinping has waged a sweeping campaign on deep-seated official corruption since coming to power a decade ago.

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Proponents say the policy promotes clean governance, while critics say it helps Xi purge political rivals.

Zhang is the latest in a string of finance officials to come under official scrutiny recently over corruption allegations.

China’s top prosecutor last month formally arrested former Bank of China chairman Liu Lian’ge following a months-long graft probe.

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Li Xiaopeng, the one-time boss of state-owned banking giant Everbright Group, was also arrested on charges of taking bribes.

Xi chaired a rare financial meeting this week aimed at “guarding against and resolving risks” in the sector, state media reported.

The National Financial Work Conference also stressed the need to “strengthen financial supervision... (and) promote finance with Chinese characteristics”.

China has charted an uncertain recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as weak consumption and a slow-motion housing crisis weigh on growth. — AFP

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