Former deputy commander of the navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), Wang Shouye, was expelled on Thursday from China's national legislature on charges of economic crimes, after his mistress turned him in.
The resignation of 62-year-old Wang Shouye as deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) was approved by the NPC Standing Committee at the end of its six-day legislative session.
Wang has also been dismissed from the post of 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 keeping 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 the post of deputy commander due to his "loose morals" and abuse of power by seeking and taking bribes, the documents said, noting his actions were 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 to the NPC. Please take me off the 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 camp construction unit of PLA General Logistics Department in 1995 and was appointed deputy navy commander of the PLA in 2001 and promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral.
Two other deputies of the NPC also had their membership cancelled for 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 were charged with taking bribes of 861,000 yuan and US$51,000 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.
"Frequent incidence of corruptions, even with high-ranking officials involved, is an unavoidable phenomenon before 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 is among the first countries to sign the UN Convention Against Corruption, and this also demonstrates its determination to fight grafts, 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 them were ministerial-level officials.
(Xinhua News Agency June 30, 2006)