Communist Party anti-graft watchdog says Ren suspected of ‘discipline and law violations’

Announcement about cadre comes a day after she appears on TV presiding over education meeting

China’s top anticorruption watchdog is investigating a senior cadre in charge of propaganda and education in the far western region of Xinjiang.

The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website on Monday night that Ren Hua, 56, deputy chairwoman of the government of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was under investigation for “suspected serious violations of discipline and law” – a euphemism for

Holding the rank of vice-minister, Ren is the first “tiger”, or senior official, in Xinjiang to be targeted by the CCDI this year.

Just one day before the announcement, Ren appeared on Xinjiang TV in her capacity as party chief of the region’s education department, presiding over a meeting on strengthening the party’s leadership of Xinjiang’s education system

Ren is the fifth senior official to be investigated this year. The others are former Fujian vice-governor Zhang Zhinan,

, former Hebei vice-governor Zhang He, and

Ren has been deputy chairwoman of the region since January 2018 as well as being the deputy propaganda director of the party’s Xinjiang committee and deputy party chief of its culture department.

In June 2016, she was appointed deputy leader of a central government inspection team to audit the party’s International Liaison Department and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, a major foreign affairs organisation to cultivate “people to people exchanges”. The assignment lasted for four months.

Ren, an ethnic Han born in the eastern province of Shandong, has a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature from Xinjiang University and has spent all 35 years of her political career in Xinjiang.

Starting as a clerk at the general office of the region’s party committee in 1986, Ren was appointed the propaganda chief of Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, in 2006.

In Urumqi, Ren reported to Li Zhi, who was the city’s party chief from 2006 to 2009.

Li was jailed for 12 years in November 2016 for taking 13.19 million yuan (US$1.85 million) in bribes.

Ren also crossed paths with Nur Bekri, chairman of Xinjiang’s government from 2008 to 2014 before he became the director of the National Energy Administration. In December 2019, Nur Bekri was sentenced to life in prison for taking over 79 million yuan (US$11.1 million) in bribes.

Since the start of the year, Xinjiang’s regional corruption watchdog has also detained former deputy mayor of Urumqi Li Wei, former deputy director of the region’s transport department Su Biao, and former deputy commissioner of Aksu prefecture Gao Keping.

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