Yang Jiacai, China Banking Regulatory Commission
BEIJING (REUTERS) – A senior official at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is under investigation for suspected links to a loan scandal, the financial magazine Caixin reported, citing sources close to the matter.
Yang Jiacai, assistant chairman of CBRC, has been under investigation since April 9 in connection with the scandal in Hubei province, Caixin said late on Saturday, following days of rumours circulating online that Yang had gone missing.
China’s graft watchdog on April 9 also announced an investigation into the chairman of the country’s insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, the most senior financial regulator to be investigated as part of a government fight against graft.
No official announcement of an investigation into him has been made. His name and profile were still accessible on the CBRC website on Sunday.
Caixin reported last Friday that Yang had been relieved of his duties, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
CBRC did not respond to a faxed request for comment on Friday or to a second fax on Sunday about the investigation.
Yang’s last public appearance was on April 7 speaking at a news conference about new risk control guidelines for lenders as part of efforts to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt.
China’s top leaders have pledged this year to address financial risks and asset bubbles.
President Xi Jinping has pledged to wage war on deep seated graft in the ruling Communist party until officials at all levels dare not be corrupt, warning that a failure to check the rot could threaten the party’s existence.
Yang and his wife and son were all placed under investigation due to their suspected involvement in a loan scandal in Hubei, Yang’s home province, Caixin said.
Yang spent most of his career in Hubei and was deputy head of the central bank’s Wuhan city branch in Hubei from 1997 to 2003, according to his official profile.
According to the article, investigations into the scandal have already led to a number of official probes, including into chief risk officer of China’s Bank of Communications, Yang Dongping, who was expelled from the party on Feb 24.
Yang became assist chairman of the CBRC in 2013.
Some say Xi Jinping’s anti-corrption campaign is just a way for him to elivinate critics and political foes. No one will come forward to say that corrupion is down undr Xi Jinping. That’s only a myth….
It happens in Russia — occasionally. An oligarch, made fabulously wealthy through the privatization of state assets, breaks ranks, becoming a critic of President Vladimir V. Putin.
China was different. Its growing ranks of billionaires often owe their fortunes to the good graces of the Communist Party and its leading families. But the firsthand knowledge that the country’s tycoons might have of the complex shareholding ties that serve to enrich the political elite had stayed secret.
That changed this year. In two rambling interviews with a New York-based media company lasting more than four hours, Guo Wengui, a real estate magnate, described what he said was a ferocious struggle that culminated two years ago in the collapse of a business deal pitting him against relatives of a retired top Communist Party official, He Guoqiang.
Since then, Mr. Guo has lived abroad, and is a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
In going public with his charges, Mr. Guo demonstrated just how dangerous a loose-lipped billionaire can be to China’s Communist Party. The party still strives to cultivate an image of selfless service to the nation, with state-run news media repeatedly emphasizing that no official is immune to President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, now in its fifth year.
If Mr. Guo is to be believed, Mr. Xi, when he assumed leadership of the Communist Party in November 2012, may have faced a far more serious corruption problem than has been publicly disclosed, touching not only the departing chief of the country’s security forces but perhaps also the top official in charge of rooting out graft in the party’s own ranks, Mr. He. Both were members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the elite body that wields supreme power in China.
“If you are Xi Jinping and you are deciding to go after corruption, can you take them on all at once?” asked Andrew Wedeman, a professor of political science at Georgia State University who studies corruption in Chinese politics.
The former head of the security forces, Zhou Yongkang, was prosecuted on graft charges and is now serving a life sentence in prison. But there is no report that Mr. He or members of his family have been prosecuted. To Mr. Guo, that demonstrates the weakness of the corruption crackdown: Among the elite, the campaign touches only those who are already on the losing side of factional power struggles.
Mr. Guo explained in a March 8 videotaped interview with Mirror Media Group, a Chinese-language news company based on Long Island, how Mr. He’s son He Jintao was the “boss” of the second-largest shareholder in Founder Securities, a company in which Mr. Guo was seeking to acquire a large stake. He Jintao concealed his role through a proxy, according to Mr. Guo.
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Tags: Caixin, China, China Banking Regulatory Commission CBRC, China's Bank of Communications, China's corruption, China's graft, corruption, graft, Guo Wengui, President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia, weakness of the corruption crackdown, Xi Jinping, Yang Dongping, Yang Jiacai, Zhou Yongkang