Former Tianjin mayor admits to corruption on TV

Huang Xingguo, former acting Party chief and mayor of Tianjin, appeared on television for the first time since he was placed under investigation for graft.

“The fundamental problem with my corruption was to lose the faith and fail to obey Party principles. I lowered my guard step by step, then began to become corrupt,” he said during a 10-episode documentary on China Central Television.

The documentary, Jiang Gaige Jinxing Daodi (Carrying the Reform Through to the End), has been broadcast nightly on CCTV since July 17. The program highlighted President Xi Jinping’s key speeches and his new thoughts on the governance of China.

During the program, more than 10 former high-ranking corrupt officials were shown to educate the public and warn public servants. It has included Wang Min, former Party chief of Liaoning province, and Qiu He, former deputy Party chief of Yunnan province.

During the ninth episode, which aired on Tuesday, the 62-year-old Huang appeared for the first time since his fall from grace in September.

According to the top anti-graft watchdog, when disciplinary officers conducted an inspection in Tianjin for the first time in early 2015, Huang held a banquet for the inspectors and tried to bribe the team leader with an expensive watch to get news about an investigation into Wu Changshun, former director of Tianjin’s municipal Public Security Bureau.

In February 2015, Wu was placed under investigation on suspicion of graft after inspectors received a report from the public.

According to the episode, in June 2016, just two and a half months after the first inspection, disciplinary officers went to Tianjin a second time to collect evidence. During the inspection, Huang was investigated for “serious violations of Party discipline”.

“I thought I would be OK when the first inspection was complete. I didn’t expect the inspectors would come to collect evidence a second time,” Huang said.

“My ideals and faith wavered and I went in the wrong direction, and I performed my duties with a view toward my personal desires.”

According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country’s top corruption watchdog, Huang abused his power to gain benefits for others, such as promotion, and he accepted bribes of cash or property.

He also indulged his family members and used his influence to seek private gain, the CCDI said.

In January, Huang was placed under investigation by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on suspicion of bribery. The SPP designated the prosecuting department in Hebei province to conduct further investigations into his case.

On July 20, the Shijiazhuang people’s procuratorate in Hebei initiated the case in the city’s intermediate people’s court. The case will be heard later, according to the SPP.