China's ministers of communications and construction were fired as part of a campaign to fight widespread gov-ern-ment corruption and win back the trust of the Chinese people, official media said Saturday.
Communications Minister Qian Yong-chang and Construction Minister Lin Hanxiong are the first Cabinet-level officials dismissed as part of the campaign, launched in 1989.Other key personnel changes are expected to go before the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp legislature, later this month.
Qian was removed for abusing his power for personal gain and Lin for disciplinary reasons, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Xinhua said the national legislature's decision-making Standing Committee decided Saturday to remove the ministers, but provided no further details of what led to the action.
According to the Ta Kung Pao newspaper in Hong Kong, which has close ties with the Beijing government, Lin's removal was to punish him for violating Chinese regulations related to foreign matters. The report gave no further details, and the ministry's foreign affairs office said it knew nothing about the incident.
Xinhua said Qian would be replaced by Huang Zhendong, general manager of the State Communications Investment Co. who served for three years as vice minister of the Communications Ministry.
Xinhua said Lin would be replaced as construction minister by Hou Jie, a former vice minister of water resources.
Among other expected personnel changes are the resignations of Vice Premier Yao Yilin, 74, and Vice Premier Wu Xueqian, 70, both due to age and health reasons.