BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court on Friday jailed a former top city official in the southwest province of Yunnan, who bribed a couple featured on TV in one of China’s most high-profile corruption cases, state media said.
President Xi Jinping’s four-year war on graft, which he has vowed to wage until officials cannot, dare not and do not want to be corrupt, has felled party leaders from across the country and at all levels of the ruling Communist Party.
Yunnan, a strategically important province on the borders of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, has been a regular feature of Xi’s campaign, which often targets networks of corrupt officials.
The court found Gao Jinsong, the former party boss for the province’s capital, Kunming, guilty of giving and taking bribes, the official Xinhua news agency said. He was jailed for 10 years.
Among those bribes were two given to the former Yunnan party boss Bai Enpei and his wife, Zhang Huiqing, a former manager at state-owned Yunnan Power Grid, in order to secure promotions.
The couple were featured in a documentary by the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection broadcast on state television last year that gave the public juicy details of corrupt officials’ lavish lifestyles.
Bai was handed a suspended death sentence last October for accepting bribes of more than $37 million. Gao himself was found guilty of using his position to help eight other unnamed officials to secure promotions.
Gao was also found to have taken bribes in exchange for policy changes, granting companies construction contracts and allowing deals to re-purpose land for development.
The resource-rich Yunnan is the target of a government drive to create economic hubs away from the east coast that could become central to China’s plans for growing trade relations with Southeast and South Asia.
Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Nick Macfie