The beginning of the end for Shenzhen former Mayor Xu Zongheng
It’s the beginning of the end for former Shenzhen Mayor Xu Zongheng, as he stands trial in a local court in Central China facing countless charges of graft and corruption allegations. During his term as a high-ranking official in Shenzhen, Xu was accused in a myriad of scandals and corruption related cases, thus being officially tagged in 2010 as mayor for taking bribes and other abuses by The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.
Some of the major controversies he was involved were allegedly taking bribes and hush-money for construction projects and development plans like subways, buildings for the Shenzhen Universiade, Yanba highway and a Taoyuan Village housing project. He crept his way under project contracts with unfair negotiations to support specific individuals strategically to gain promotional advantage and stay in power. During the investigation, he named numbers of retired officials from the Shenzhen city government and several incumbent officials from the Guangdong provincial government that were involved in the case.
Xu was also found at fault for over pricing real estate schemes with a poor-quality government- funded housing project. Ongoing investigations also tagged the former mayor in the nightclub fire in the Longgan district, in which 44 people were killed as only junior officials were held to be responsible. Due to these alleged economic crimes, Xu and his wife were placed under shuanggui, a form of detention and were also stripped of his Party membership for a “severe violation of discipline and the law”.
Born to a peasant family and a native of Hunan, a province in China located in the South, Xu worked in Shenzhen for 15 years, he moved up the ranks and was elected Mayor in 2005. Under his term, an agreement was reached on the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle and he pledged to develop both cities into a metropolis.