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Naval Commander Dismissed for Corruption
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The National People's Congress (NPC) on Thursday accepted the resignation of former deputy commander of the navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), Wang Shouye, who faces charges of economic crimes.

Wang was dismissed from his post as deputy commander of the PLA Navy by the Central Military Commission.

According to documents submitted to the NPC, an unmarried young woman admitted to authorities that she had been involved in an "improper relationship" with Wang "for a long time."

In January this year, the army ordered discipline measures be taken against Wang and later removed him from his post due to his "loose morals" and abuse of power by soliciting and accepting bribes. His actions were described as serious violations of the law and military codes of conduct.

"Because of my involvement in economic crimes, I had been stripped from the post of deputy navy commander and thus I am no longer qualified to be a deputy in the NPC. Please remove me from my position," Wang said in his resignation letter dated March 29, 2006.

Born in September 1943, Wang joined the PLA at the age of 24 as a civil engineering graduate from Tianjin University. He rose to the head of the camp construction unit of the PLA General Logistics Department in 1995. He was appointed deputy navy commander of the PLA in 2001 and later promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral.

Two other deputies of the NPC also had their membership cancelled for having engaged in illegal business activities.

Ge Zheng, 45, board chairman of the Tonghe Investment Holding Co. Ltd in eastern Zhejiang Province, was expelled for "illegal collection of public funds," and Luo Zeqin, 47, board chairwoman of the Eighteen Treasures Health Care and Medicine Co. Ltd in southern Guangdong Province, was expelled for "tax evasion."

A number of high level corruption cases have been in the spotlight recently, including the sacking of a couple of high-ranking officials such as Beijing's vice mayor Liu Zhihua, who was removed for corruption and "bad morals" on June 11.

Also on Thursday, a court opened in east China's Anhui province to hear the case of former deputy head of provincial finance department Kuang Bingwen and his son Kuang Zhongpin, who are charged with taking 861,000 yuan and US$51,000 in bribes, and embezzling public funds.

Observers said the CPC is dealing with corruption by "killing flies as well as killing tigers," a tradition that has not changed over the Party's 85-year history.

The Party will celebrate its 85th anniversary on Saturday.

"China's top leaders are fully aware of the graft situation, and have taken solid and powerful actions to fight corruption," Beijing University law professor, Chu Huaizhi, told Xinhua in an interview.

China's anti-graft efforts are moving forward fast, Chu said.

"A high incidence of corruption, involving even high-ranking officials, is unavoidable phenomenon until a market-oriented economy is fully established in China," Chu said, adding that the frequent exposure of corruption cases, however, displays the gradual maturation of the anti-graft mechanism.
China was among the first countries to sign the UN Convention Against Corruption, and this also demonstrates its determination to fight graft, Chu said.

Last year, China's procurators investigated 8,490 government officials, including eight at the ministerial level.

China's courts convicted 1,932 government officials of graft, six of whom were ministerial-level officials.

(Xinhua News Agency June 30, 2006)

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