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China jails ex-oil executive for corruption

A former oil executive with ties to ex-security czar Zhou Yongkang has been jailed, marking the latest move in President Xi's sweeping anti-corruption campaign. Two senior officials were also jailed on graft charges.

A central China court on Tuesday sentenced Wang Yongchun, former vice president of the China National Petroleum Corporation, to 20 years in prison for corruption.

Yongchun's sentencing marks the third this week for high-ranking officials with connections to the so-called "petroleum gang," an elite faction of the Chinese Communist Party once headed by

former security chief Zhou Yongkang,

the most senior official to be jailed for corruption since 1949.

The two others convicted this week include Jiang Jiemin, a former head of the regulatory body for China's state-owned firms, and Li Chuncheng, an ex-deputy Communist Party leader for Sichuan.

Wang stood trial for "abuse of power by a staff member of a state-owned company" and "holding a huge amount of property with unidentified sources."

Zhou Yongkang, ex-security chief and former member of the Communisty Party politburo, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption

Zhou Yongkang, ex-security chief and former member of the Communisty Party politburo, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption

'Obviously exceeded legal income'

The Xiangyang Intermediate People's Court said that Wang received around $7.9 million (6.94 million euros) in bribes since 2000, and failed to identify the origins of another $6.7 million (5.88 million euros).

"The property of defendant Wang Yongchun and his family obviously exceeded legal income, and the source of 42.5 million yuan ($6.7 million, 5.88 million euros) in assets could not be explained," the court said in a statement, according to Reuters news agency.

The court added that under the direction of ex-regulatory chief Jiang, Wang assisted in activities that resulted in "extremely large losses."

Wang was officially discharged from the Communist Party in 2014

on allegations of corruption, paving the way for his trial in 2015.

Since President Xi Jingping's rise to power, he has launched a

sweeping anti-graft campaign targeting senior members

of the Communist Party and other state-affiliated enterprises.

ls/bk (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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