China’s ex-presidential aide charged with graft, abuse of power

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Beijing, May 13 (IANS) A former Chinese presidential aide was charged on Friday with taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power.

Ling Jihua, 59, the former chief of staff to ex-president Hu Jintao and the former deputy head of China’s national political advisory body, was indicted by prosecutors in the port city of Tianjin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prosecutors claimed his abuse of power caused great damage to public assets, the country and the people.

Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, the Chinese government has spearheaded an aggressive anti-corruption campaign.

Nearly 300,000 Chinese officials were punished for corruption in 2015.

Ling was put under investigation in December 2014 and expelled from the Communist Party of China (CCP) in July 2015.

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