The anti-corruption campaign that has brought down senior officials in two of China’s biggest cities, among others, has extended to a governor in the Sichuan province, according to the South China Morning Post. Wei Hong — the governor and an associate of an ex-security chief who was sentenced to life in prison last year on corruption charges — was reported to be under investigation Friday.
Wei joins a string of Chinese officials who have been targeted by the anti-corruption campaign and is the second governor in the country so far to face such scrutiny. The charges, which were announced at a press conference by a senior official in the Chinese anti-corruption authority, also end weeks of speculation as to where Wei has been since his last public appearance in December, when he attended a work conference.
Wei’s connection to the ex-security chief, Zhou Yongkang, appears to be the source of concern. While Zhou was the governor of the province from 1999 to 2002, Wei received twice within the government, first as a party boss and then later as the the head of the organization department.
In addition to Zhou and Wei, several others have been snagged recently in the anti-graft effort. They include Su Shulin, the former governor of Fujan province, Ai Baojun, the vice mayor of Shanghai and Lu Xiwen, the municipal deputy party secretary of Beijing. But there are reportedly many more, including more than 100 high-ranking officials, who have been caught by the sweeps.
The anti-corruption push in China was ramped up after the general secretary of the Communist Party in China, Xi Jinping, was elevated to his position in 2012 as a part of the country’s 18th Congress. At the time, Xi said he would crack down on “tigers and flies,” meaning that he would focus both on high-level corruption as well as lower-level civil servants.