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Top Tianjin Official Kills Self, Deprived of Party Membership
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China's disciplinary watchdog on Thursday expelled senior political advisor Song Pingshun from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for "dissolute lifestyle and serious violation of Party discipline", according to an announcement.

Song, former chairman of the Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a local advisory body to the parliament in the northern port city of Tianjin, was discovered dead on June 3.

A police investigation showed that Song had committed suicide.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection decided to take the rare step of a posthumous stripping of Song's CPC membership after finding that he had "led a dissolute life and abused his public power to seek benefits for his mistress, seriously violating CPC discipline".

"Song, morally degenerate, kept a mistress and helped her obtain money through illegal means," the announcement of the discipline watchdog said.

Song, 61, a native of northern province of Hebei, became the top political advisor of Tianjin, a booming municipality directly under the central government, in March 2006.

He once served as vice-mayor, police chief and secretary of Tianjin CPC Political Science and Law Commission that was in charge of the city's police and legal field.

Once an English-major student, Song received a junior college certificate from a Tianjin college in the 1960s and served various official city government posts in the public security sector.

The CPC expelled 21,120 members last year for breaking its rules, mainly for their involvement in corruption scandals, according to the CCDI, the Party's discipline watchdog.

Corruption remained serious in China, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee earlier warned all CPC members.

More than 1,000 Chinese officials above the county level have been punished for corruption during the first five months, up 2.4 percent over the same period last year, statistics show.

More than 64 percent of the cases were "serious cases" that involved officials taking more than 50,000 yuan (US$6,600) in bribes or embezzling more than 100,000 yuan of public funds.

(Xinhua New Agency July 5, 2007)

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