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Published: Thursday January 30, 2014 MYT 3:10:22 PM
Updated: Thursday January 30, 2014 MYT 3:11:13 PM

China's Communist Party expels ex-Nanjing mayor for bribes

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party has expelled a former city mayor for bribery and abuse of power, one of the most senior government officials to fall victim to President Xi Jinping's campaign against graft.

Ji Jianye was mayor of Nanjing where he "took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others (and) received a huge amount of money and gifts either by himself or through family members", the party's corruption watchdog said on Thursday.

"(He was) morally corrupt," it said, citing an investigation. The findings against Ji would be handed to judicial authorities to handle, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website (www.ccdi.gov.cn).

Ji was removed as Nanjing mayor on October 19, two days after the government announced he was under investigation for suspected "disciplinary violations" - a term often used for corruption - and breaking the law.

Xi has made the fight against endemic corruption a central theme of his administration, vowing to pursue both high-flying "tigers", or senior officials, and lower-ranking "flies".

Reports by state-run media have linked Ji's case to that of Zhu Xingliang, an interior decoration billionaire and founder of Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration Co Ltd who was arrested this week on suspicion of corruption.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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