Friday, October 24, 2008
Chinese official overstays in France, prompting corruption speculations
12:57, October 23, 2008
A municipal official from eastern China's Zhejiang Province has overstayed about 20 days on a visit to Europe, prompting speculation he had fled the country because of corruption.
Yang Xianghong, Party Secretary of Lucheng District in Wenzhou City, departed on Sept. 19 on a 12-day tour to Europe. He left the delegation just before the return trip in the name of visiting his daughter in France, a Wenzhou government official told Xinhua.
Later he claimed he had to stay in France for a medical treatment for his back problem. Yang delivered a resignation letter to the municipal Party committee, saying that his back pain was severe and the work pressure was too much for him to handle, according to the source.
The municipal government demanded his return and to be treated at home. Yang, however, refused.
The 52-year-old was promoted last year to a standing member of Wenzhou municipal Party committee, while still holding his district chief job.
He had a surgery in April 2007 on his recurring back pain, sources told Xinhua. Yang had confided to some of his peers since last year that he wanted to step down because of "the bad health and there were some people against him."
His overstay in France has sparked speculation that he had fled for fear of potential corruption charges. Yang Xiuzhu, a corrupt Zhejiang provincial official, fled to the United States in April 2003 with millions of U.S. dollars.
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HISTORY DEPARTMENT SEMINAR SERIES
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THE DECLINE AND RISE OF CHINA:
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