12 years for Tianjin's former mayor

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Huang Xingguo, the former mayor of Tianjin, has been jailed for 12 years for taking over 40 million yuan (US$6 million) in bribes to push through promotions and land approvals.
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Huang Xingguo, the former mayor of Tianjin City, has been jailed for 12 years for taking more than 40 million yuan (US$6 million) in bribes to push through promotions and land approvals, a court in north China’s Hebei Province announced yesterday.

Huang, who was also acting Party chief in the northern port city, became its mayor in 2008, before being investigated on suspicion of corruption in September last year.

He abused his power to obtain bribes in exchange for promotions and land approvals, the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court said.

The corrupt behavior spanned Huang’s political career of more than two decades spent in several Chinese cities, from previous posts in Ningbo and Taizhou in the coastal province of Zhejiang to his time in Tianjin, its statement added.

In January, the Party said it would prosecute Huang, 63, for graft, following its announcement last September of an initial investigation.

Huang had made “presumptuous comments” on government policy and had damaged Party unity, the investigation by the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, showed.

He was also found to have accepted gifts, traveled with an “entourage” and worked to further his career by buying support and giving jobs to friends. The court said its sentence took into account the guilt and remorse Huang had expressed over his offenses, besides his cooperative attitude and the evidence he gave to investigators.

Tianjin has ambitions to become a financial hub for northern China and is one of four areas designated a municipality, along with Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing, giving it the same high status as a province.

In 2015, a series of massive explosions at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin killed about 170 people, provoking nationwide anger that it had been built close to people’s homes.


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