Sunday, June 9, 2013

First major trial under President Xi Jinping

First major trial under President Xi Jinping

Liu Zhijun, the former minister of railways in China Sunday appeared before the court to answer corruption and abuse of power, in the first major trial under President Xi Jinping, China reported the new agency. The charges against Liu Zhijun deeply tarnished the image of the leadership of the Chinese rail network, which caused the rapid construction hitherto admired, including abroad.

Already removed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mr. Liu had embezzled 4% of the amount of the many contracts he signed, according to the Global Times newspaper. The manager was also at least ten mistresses, including actresses, added daily.


The treatment reserve justice in this former member of the government will be a good indicator of the determination shown by the new President Xi Jinping to make the fight against corruption a priority of his government. State radio reported the trial without giving further details. The trial could be fairly short, if one refers to similar corruption cases tried in the past, and the verdict could be known within one to two weeks.

Xi Jinping is committed to fight against corruption at all levels of government, a scourge that he believes threatens the future of the single ruling party.

The case involving Liu had made headlines, but it was later overshadowed by the case Bo Xilai, the former leader of the Communist Party in the city of Chongqing. Bo was presented as one of the rising stars of politics in China before being caught up in a murder case and its rapid fall.

A few months after the dismissal of Liu Zhijun, the reputation of the Ministry of Railways has been further undermined by the collision of two high-speed train that had killed 40 people on 23 July 2011 near Wenzhou, the worst rail accident in China since 2008.

This disaster had raised serious concerns about the safety of Chinese high-speed network. The accident also heavily penalized the Chinese railway industry in foreign markets.

Result of this accident and the charges against Mr. Liu, the Ministry of Railways was dismantled in March and his services have been placed under the control of the Ministry of Transport. The government now has to open wide the rail industry to private investment.

Chinese TGV network is booming: only established in 2007 it is already the largest in the world. This network includes the largest line of high-speed train in the world, the Beijing-Guangzhou line, opened in late 2012.

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