The Man Responsible For Modernizing China's Railway System Has Been Ousted For 'Extreme Corruption'

Liu ZhijunLiu Zhijun and Speaker Pelosi in 2008

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Liu Zhijun, the former Railways Minister in China and once one of the country’s most important men, has been ousted from the Communist Party of China (CPC) after being found guilty of corruption, official paper People’s Daily reports.While the removal of Liu has long been expected (he was removed from his government post in October and has been unavailable for comment since, WSJ reports), its likely to come under increased scrutiny given the controversy over Bo Xilai and his allies.

Allegations of extreme corruption seems be something Bo and Liu have in common at very least. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection declared Liu “morally corrupted” and state mouthpiece People’s Daily said he was responsible for “severe corruption in the railways system”.

Liu oversaw China’s vast (and frequently used) railway system between 2003-2011, and oversaw a huge infrastructure investment, notably including High Speed Rail (HSR), International Business Times reports.

That dream had fallen apart in 2011 when HSR lines began running slow trains out of safety concerns, and a Japanese firm sued over claims that the HSR trains had copied their bullet train technology. The Beijing Times has a timeline of disasters that lead to Liu’s ousting, that includes both a crash in 2008 that killed 70 and another that killed 40 in 2011, with an investigation after the second reporting that the Liu bore responsibility.

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