Skip to main content

'Morally corrupted' ex-railways boss axed by China's Communist Party

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 1:39 AM EDT, Tue May 29, 2012
Poor management was blamed for the high speed collision in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province in July 2011.
Poor management was blamed for the high speed collision in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province in July 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liu Zhijun had been under investigation since February 2011, report said
  • Accused of taking bribes, being responsible for severe corruption in railways system
  • Liu linked to rail crash in July 2011 that led to 40 deaths, 172 injuries
  • Report revealed major design flaws, relaxed safety controls, poor emergency response

Hong Kong (CNN) -- China's former railway minister has become the latest senior figure to be expelled from the Communist Party after being found guilty of corruption.

Liu Zhijun had been under investigation since February 2011, when he was removed from his position on suspicion of "serious disciplinary violations," China's state-run Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

According to a statement issued by the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), Liu was accused of using his position "to seek huge illegal interests for Ding Yuxin, chairman of Beijing Boyou Investment Management Corporation, which caused great economic losses and negative social influence."

Liu, who was labeled as "morally corrupted" in the statement, was accused of taking "a huge amount of bribes and bore the major responsibility for severe corruption in the railways system," Xinhua said.

Last year, Liu was one of 54 officials linked to a train crash that killed 40 people.

China places blame over train crash
Train ticket discontent in China

Railway chiefs axed after crash probe

In the wake of the July collision of two high-speed trains, which also injured 172 people according to government figures, many in China expressed fury at the government, particularly in posts online. Some alleged corruption and efforts to cover up the tragedy -- charges the government denied.

However, a subsequent report found that major design flaws in train operating equipment, relaxed safety controls and poor emergency response to equipment failure caused the crash, Xinhua said.

Liu and the railway ministry's deputy chief engineer, Zhang Shuguang -- who had both been fired in February -- were held chiefly responsible for the crash, along with Ma Cheng, chairman of the board at China Railway Signal and Communication Corp., the producer of the railway signaling system.

Tuesday's statement added that Liu might also have violated criminal law, so his case will also be turned over to the courts. It said his illegal gains have been confiscated.

Earlier this year, Bo Xilai, a popular but polarizing politician, was dismissed as Communist Party chief of Chongqing, the biggest metropolis in China.

The rise and fall of Bo Xilai

His right-hand man and former top cop Wang Lijun spectacularly sought refuge in an American consulate apparently fearing for his life and allegedly holding incriminating information on his old boss.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was also accused of corruption and implicated in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:18 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A top retired general has confessed to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in President Xi Jinping's war on corruption.
updated 1:07 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
A group in China escapes from a stuck elevator thanks to one man and his trusty hammer. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Facebook's founder says he taught himself Mandarin and tested his skills with students in China.
updated 9:33 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
China launched an experimental spacecraft that is scheduled to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
updated 12:19 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Full marks for ingenuity: This was a truly high-tech scam.
updated 1:26 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The rationale behind Confucius Institutes -- an international chain of academic centers run by an arm of the Chinese government -- is understandable.
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
updated 1:11 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
updated 11:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
ADVERTISEMENT