Li Chuncheng

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Li Chuncheng
李春城
Deputy Communist Party Secretary of Sichuan
In office
September 2011 – December 2012
Secretary Wang Dongming
Preceded by Li Chongxi
Succeeded by Ke Zunping
Communist Party Secretary of Chengdu
In office
June 2003 – September 2011
Preceded by Wang Rongxuan
Succeeded by Huang Xinchu
Mayor of Chengdu
In office
February 2001 – June 2003
Preceded by Wang Rongxuan
Succeeded by Ge Honglin
Personal details
Born April 1956 (age 61)
Haicheng, Liaoning
Nationality Chinese
Political party Communist Party of China (1978–2014, expelled)
Spouse(s) Qu Songzhi
Children Daughter: Li Jinnuo
Residence Chengdu, Sichuan
Alma mater Harbin Institute of Technology
Occupation Politician
Profession Electric engineering

Li Chuncheng (Chinese: 李春城; pinyin: Lǐ Chūnchéng; born April 1956) is a former Chinese politician. He spent his early career in Heilongjiang Province, before being transferred to Sichuan in 1998. He served as the Mayor and then Communist Party Secretary of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, between 2001 and 2011; then Deputy Party Secretary of Sichuan Province between 2011 and 2012.[1]

Li was dismissed from his positions in December 2012, as the party's internal disciplinary body investigated Li for corruption. He was then expelled from the Communist Party of China, convicted on charges of abuse of power and bribery, and sentenced to 13 years in prison.[2][3] Li was the first official of sub-provincial rank to be investigated for corruption following the ascension of Xi Jinping at the 18th Party Congress. Li was considered an ally of Zhou Yongkang.[4] Li was an alternate member of the 16th and 18th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China, but failed to be elected to the 17th Central Committee.

Biography

Li was born in Haicheng, Liaoning in April 1956. He has a brother, Li Chunming (Chinese: 李春明).[5]

Heilongjiang

During the Cultural Revolution, Li worked as a sent-down youth (zhiqing) in Shuangcheng County, Heilongjiang. He became involved in politics in April 1973 and he joined the Communist Party of China in February 1978.

Li entered Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in September 1975, majoring in electric engineering, where he graduated in July 1978. Li then became a lecturer at HIT for the next nine years. In 1987, Li, then 31, left teaching to become the Deputy Secretary, then Secretary, of the Harbin Communist Youth League organization.[6] In 1992, Li became Vice Mayor of Harbin. In December 1998, Li was 'seconded' to work in Sichuan province. He spent the nearly the rest of his career in Chengdu.

Sichuan

From August 2000 to January 2001, Li served as the Party Secretary of Luzhou. Li then served as the Mayor and Deputy Party Secretary of Chengdu between February 2001 to June 2003. At the 16th Party Congress in November 2002, Li, as Mayor of Chengdu, became an alternate member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a rare feat for someone who was merely a prefecture-level mayor.[7]

In June 2003, he was promoted to become the Party Secretary of Chengdu and a Standing Committee member of the provincial Party Committee. In 2007, Li, who was in a higher position than he was in 2002, failed to get re-elected as an alternate member of the Central Committee.[7] This was seen as an indication that he had become subject to controversy in provincial political circles.[7]

In September 2011, Li was elevated to the Deputy Party Secretary of Sichuan, in charge of day-to-day work of the province. By this time, Li was considered one of the most powerful figures in the province. Li gained back his alternate membership on the Central Committee at the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, with a seemingly optimistic political trajectory.[7]

Corruption investigation

On December 5, 2012, state media announced that Li was being investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) for "serious violations of laws and regulations".[8] Li Chuncheng was the first sub-provincial-level official to fall in what eventually became the toughest anti-corruption campaign in the history of China since 1949, and the first official of his rank to fall under the leadership of Xi Jinping.[9] Li's downfall sent shockwaves through the Sichuan political establishment; it was also seen as a harbinger of the fate awaiting the much more powerful former national leader Zhou Yongkang. On December 6, Shen Yong (申勇), a district-level official, posted lengthy statements to his microblog about Li's alleged wrongdoings. It alleged that Li had spent vast sums of money trying to buy his way to prominence in the Heilongjiang government apparatus, and that he later developed a penchant for "selling" positions in a similar fashion once he was in a position of power, in an attempt to "recoup his investment."[7] The microblog posts further alleged that Li used his position of power to get a manager job for his wife Qu Songzhi at the Chengdu municipal department of health, and, following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a director position in the Chengdu Municipal Red Cross.[7]

Li's supporters believe that Li had many positive achievements during his tenure as the top official in Chengdu. They cite his efforts to integrate development of urban and rural regions, his bold initiatives to tear down and renovate old parts of town. They also cited that the GDP in Chengdu grew leaps and bounds, from 100 billion yuan in 1998 to some 700 billion yuan (~$114.5 billion) by 2011. His detractors asserted that Li was quick to demolish old buildings without due process, earning him the nickname of Li Chaicheng (a pun on his name, roughly meaning, "Li who tears down the city".) It was believed that his corruption case was related to the new construction projects that took place as a result of his initiatives to raze old city buildings.[7]

On April 30, 2014, following the investigation by the CCDI, Li was removed from all his posts and expelled from the Communist Party of China.[10][11]

Li reportedly had a close relationship with Deng Hong, the Chairman of Chengdu Exhibition and Tourism Group, and a major investor in development projects around Chengdu. Li was said to have given preferential treatment to Deng and other associates in the procurement of government contracts during his time as the party boss of Chengdu.[12] Li has been accused of carrying out "superstitious acts" while he was in office, including belief in Feng shui. Deng allegedly paid three million yuan (~$488,000) for Li to move the party boss's family graves to a more auspicious burying ground.[12]

Li was indicted on charges of bribery, amassing wealth of unclear origin, and abuse of power, on March 19, 2015.[13] On April 23, 2015, Xianning Intermediate People's Court in Hubei province heard Li Chuncheng's case.[14] Li was convicted on all charges, and was said to have taken bribes amounting to some $6.3 million; however, his sentence was reduced for cooperating with the authorities and voluntarily offering up his assets for scrutiny. He was sentenced 13 years in prison on October 12, 2015.[15]

Personal life

Li married Qu Songzhi (Chinese: 曲松枝), former director of the Red Cross Society of Chengdu. Qu was sentenced to seven years in prison on January 8, 2016.[16] They have a daughter, Li Jinnuo (Chinese: 李金诺).[5] Li was said to have taken bribes through his wife and daughter and given preferential treatment for the activities of his brother.[17]

References

  1. ^ "Disgraced Sichuan political boss Li Chuncheng booted from Communist Party as prosecutor opens probe". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "China's Anticorruption Commission Investigates Senior Official". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "China investigates top Sichuan official for corruption". BBC. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ Wan, Adrian (30 April 2014). "Sichuan official with Zhou Yongkang link expelled from Communist Party". South China Morning Post. 
  5. ^ a b 中纪委对李春城定性恐将其妻女及弟弟卷入司法 (in Chinese). Tencent. Retrieved April 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ 哈尔滨市志、哈尔滨市地方志编纂委员会. 《哈尔滨市志: 群团》 (in Chinese). Heilongjiang People's Publishing House. pp. 475页. 
  7. ^ "媒体称四川省委副书记李春城被中纪委调查". 163.COM. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  8. ^ Bradshear, Keith (December 5, 2012). "China's Anticorruption Commission Investigates Senior Official". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "Li Chuncheng under investigation for taking bribes". China.org. Retrieved April 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. ^ "Li Chuncheng stripped of public post, Party membership". Sina. Retrieved April 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. ^ a b "Li Chuncheng". Caixin (English). July 30, 2014. 
  12. ^ "最高检:李春城、蒋洁敏被依法提起公诉". gmw.cn. 2015-03-19. 
  13. ^ "李春城被控受贿滥用职权案一审休庭 将择期宣判". Xinhua. 2015-04-23. 
  14. ^ "China Sentences 2 Former Top Communist Party Officials Over Bribes". The New York Times. October 12, 2015. 
  15. ^ RFA
  16. ^ "四川省委原副书记李春城严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职". Xinhua. 
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