March 30, 2016 / 2:43 AM / 2 years ago

Ally of disgraced China security chief gets 12 years in jail for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - A former deputy governor of China’s southern province of Hainan has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

Ji Wenlin, then mayor of Haikou city, speaks at the opening ceremony of a yatch race in Haikou, Hainan province March 20, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Ji Wenlin was a one-time ally of Zhou Yongkang, the country’s once-powerful domestic security boss, who was felled by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Xi has warned that rampant corruption threatens the survival of the ruling Communist Party and has waged a campaign against graft in the past three years that has swept up scores of senior officials in the party, the government, the military and state-owned companies.

Investigators began looking into Ji’s activities as early as 2014, Xinhua said, adding that he used his position to seek benefits, including investments for several companies, illegally obtaining 20.4 million yuan ($3.2 million) in assets and bribes.

Ji’s official biography says he worked under Zhou when the latter was the party boss of the southwestern Sichuan province and the public security minister, among other posts. Zhou was jailed for life last June.

Several key Zhou allies have been ensnared in the anti-graft campaign, including Jiang Jiemin, the former top regulator of state-owned assets.

In another report, Xinhua said the trial of a former senior official who had vigorously backed Xi’s anti-graft campaign had begun.

Wang Min, the one-time Communist Party boss of Jinan city, about 300 km (185 miles) south of the capital, Beijing, is suspected of procuring property and other favors for companies, and of taking bribes.

Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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