Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Beijing Expands Inquiry on Graft to Oil Executives

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Beijing Expands Inquiry on Graft to Oil Executives

Article excerpt

The authorities announced that four executives of the state- owned China National Petroleum Corp. and its Hong Kong-listed arm were under investigation.

The Chinese Communist Party's drive against corruption moved into the powerful and politically sensitive oil sector this week, as the authorities announced that four executives of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. were under investigation.

On Tuesday, China's Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said on its Web site that three oil executives -- Li Hualin, a deputy general manager of China National Petroleum; Ran Xinquan, a vice president of PetroChina, the company's listed unit; and Wang Daofu, the chief geologist of PetroChina -- were "suspected of grave violations of discipline and are currently undergoing investigation," by an anti-corruption agency. PetroChina also announced that the three men were under investigation and had resigned "due to personal reasons."

On Monday, the authorities disclosed an investigation into a deputy general manager of China National Petroleum, Wang Yongchun, for suspected "disciplinary violations," a term that generally encompasses corruption, embezzlement or taking bribes.

The investigations indicate that the Communist Party's effort to fight corruption extends beyond the government to powerful parts of the state-dominated economy. The party leader, Xi Jinping, came to power in November with promises that he would rein in official corruption and self-enrichment, which have become a major source of public discontent.

On Tuesday, the Communist Party Politburo, a council of 25 senior leaders, approved a five-year plan to curb corruption, the state- run news agency, Xinhua, reported. The report did not give details of the plan, but the official summation of the Politburo meeting noted that the party would "sternly investigate and punish violations of party rules and laws by party members and officials" and "give full play to deterrent force. …

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