Top Tibetan official caught in China’s graft net

A masked paramilitary policeman stands guard alone at a deserted Tiananmen Gate on Feb 19. (AP pic)

BEIJING: A top Tibetan official is being investigated for alleged corruption, the Chinese Communist Party graft watchdog said Monday, as Beijing cracks its whip on officials not toeing the line.

Tashi Gyatso, deputy secretary general of the regional government in Tibet, is under investigation for “suspected severe violations of discipline and law”, the Tibet Discipline Inspection and Supervision Network said in a brief statement Monday without providing further details.

“Violations of discipline” is a common euphemism used by Beijing when an official is being investigated for taking bribes or abusing his position.

Gyatso was also a member of Tibet’s leading Communist Party members’ group — an elite regional policy-making body in charge of security, poverty alleviation and other areas of government.

Born in Sichuan province, which borders Tibet, Gyatso joined the Communist Party in 1995 and rose through its ranks.

His previous positions included working in Tibet’s propaganda department and heading its highway and transportation department, according to his official CV on the government’s website.

A growing number of Communist Party cadres have been caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies.

Last year alone, over 555,000 anti-corruption cases were filed against cadres, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.