Local authorities on March 3 announced an investigation into two bureaucrats who had long served in Xiangtan City, Hunan Province. According to Sina News, the probes were announced only 3 hours apart.

The two officials were Cao Jiongfang, secretary of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial People’s Congress; and Hu Haijun, a member of the Standing Committee and secretary of the Xiangtan Municipal Committee.

Both men were suspected of serious violations of discipline and law, and are currently undergoing disciplinary review and supervision investigation by the Hunan Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Cao Jiongfang, 58, a native of Li County, Hunan Province, served as secretary of the Xiangtan Municipal Party Committee for five years since 2016. By July 2021, he was transferred to be a member of the party group and deputy secretary-general of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial People’s Congress. In January this year, he was elected as the secretary-general of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth People’s Congress of Hunan Province.

Sina News reported that the last time he appeared in public was on Feb. 25, at the twenty-ninth meeting held by the 13th Hunan Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Hu Haijun, 51, is from Changsha County, Hunan Province, and has served as deputy secretary, mayor, and secretary of the Xiangxiang Municipal Committee, secretary of the Yutang District Committee, and secretary of the Party Working Committee of the Xiangtan Economic and Technological Development Zone.

Xiangtan City authorities previously launched an investigation on Cao Jiongfang’s predecessor—Chen Sanxin. Chen was investigated in May 2018. At the time he was serving as deputy secretary of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In December of the same year, Chen Sanxin was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $240,000 dollars for accepting bribes.

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