China’s former rail minister expelled from Party
By Helen Wright29 May 2012
Liu Zhijun, China's former minister of railways, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China following last year's allegations of bribery and corruption.
An investigation was launched in February 2011 into corruption by Mr Zhijun, who was suspected of taking more than US$ 100 million in bribes. The Chinese Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is said to have ruled on his exit from the Party, and he will now be handed over to prosecutors as part of a judicial criminal investigation.
Mr Liu is thought to have demanded as much as 4% of contract values for the award of work on China's rapidly expanding high-speed rail network. Construction of the network was one of the key aims of China's stimulus plan, and the country has set a target of building 16000 km of such track by 2015.
His expulsion from the Communist Party effectively ends his career in China's single party system.
Reports said Mr Liu's illicit gains had been confiscated. Soliciting or accepting bribes can be punished by death in China.