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Shanghai Daily,上海日报
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Another journalist targets an official

A JOURNALIST has accused the deputy head of China’s industry regulator of dereliction of duty in the latest case of online accusations against senior officials.

Liu Hu, a reporter with the New Express Daily, alleged that Ma Zhengqi, deputy head of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, failed in his duties when he was an official in the southwestern city of Chongqing, resulting in the huge loss of state assets.

Liu wrote in a Weibo post that Ma, a member of the Party’s Chongqing committee, approved the sale in 2004 of a state-owned food and beverage firm to two local officials for 1.7 million yuan (US$278,688), a sum much lower than the firm’s net assets of 27.7 million yuan.

Liu said questions had been raised about the sale with Ma but he only gave instructions to proceed.

“Ma’s misconduct has led to the loss of millions of yuan in state assets and I urge the Party’s discipline department and related anti-corruption bodies to launch an investigation into Ma,” Liu wrote.

The original post has since been deleted from Liu’s verified Weibo account but Liu confirmed later that the original entry was authentic.

Liu’s accusation is the third of its kind after two other journalists exposed the wrongdoings of high-level officials.

Earlier this month, Wang Wenzhi, a journalist with Xinhua news agency, accused Song Lin, chairman of China Resources, and other senior executives of graft and dereliction of duty resulting in the loss of billions of yuan in a deal to buy assets from another company.

In Wang’s latest post on Weibo yesterday, he further accused Song of illegally obtaining an auditing report of China Resources Coal Co, a subsidiary of China Resources, and trying to hush up auditors as the report pointed to irregularities at the firm.

In May, China sacked Liu Tienan as deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission following an investigation into graft allegations that were brought to light by Caijing Magazine deputy editor Luo Changping through a series of Weibo posts.

The allegations all come amid an ongoing anti-corruption campaign after President Xi Jinping vowed to fight graft with the aim of building a clean government.




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