China

China media: Su Rong

Chinese authorities say former senior official Su Rong accepted bribes Image copyright EPA
Image caption Chinese authorities say former senior official Su Rong accepted bribes

Corruption charges against former senior official Su Rong show that the authorities are investigating more senior officials, papers say.

Su Rong has been expelled from the Communist Party for corruption and faces prosecution, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement on Monday.

The top anti-corruption body states that the former vice-chairman of the parliamentary advisory body abused his position to receive "large sums of illegal bribes", which resulted in "huge losses of government assets".

Several papers, including the Beijing News and the Beijing Youth Daily, have noted the "strong-wording" used in the CCDI's statement.

The CCDI said some officials "blatantly accept bribes and confer official ranks for money" and "support and wilfully permit relatives to use their status to interfere in politics".

The Beijing News notes that the choice of some "fiery words" in the statement reflects the authorities' determination to fight corruption.

"The CCDI has sounded out what was on everybody's mind, so now people have nothing much to add," notes the editorial.

The Beijing Times agrees that the choice of strong words was "deliberate to sound a warning" to other officials.

Lyu Pin, a professor at the China Central Party School, however, tells the People's Daily that despite the "high-pressure tactic", lower ranking officials in some regions are "still turning a deaf ear" and some are even "getting bolder in their corrupt behaviour".

Admitting that the fight against corruption is "complex and challenging", the Communist Party's flagship paper stresses that the authorities have "strategised their moves" for the year, "casting nets everywhere" to capture violators.

'Charming' investment destination

Turning to economic news, papers are confident that China remains a "charming" investment destination after fresh data shows a sharp increase in foreign investment.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China soared by 29.4% in January from a year earlier, coupled with a 31.8% "spike" of new foreign-funded companies, the official Xinhua News Agency reports.

The Global Times notes that the stronger-than-expected inflow of capital has come amid slower economic growth.

"The share of investment shows us that the FDI has shifted from manufacturing to services. It shows that the latter has huge potential, especially since China is losing its competitive edge on labour-intensive manufacturing due to the rising labour, land and environmental costs," JP Morgan Chief China Economist Zhu Haibin tells the paper.

The People's Daily says the uptrend shows that China is still "charming" to foreign investors who have confidence in the quality of economic growth and investment environment.

Pet hotels

And finally, pet hotel business is booming as people struggle to find places for their pets before leaving for their hometowns for the Spring Festival.

The festival, which will be celebrated on Thursday, is one of the most important occasions in China. Millions of people will travel back home.

While most major cities are almost empty with the mass exodus, most dog-boarding facilities are "full to the brim", according to the Beijing Youth Daily.

The paper observes that with higher demand for the service, some dog boarders are charging as high as 140 yuan ($22; £14) per day, equivalent to the daily room rate of some budget hotels.

"Our workers have to work overtime during the Spring Festival. There are also more dogs to take care of, so the cost of sanitising the kennels has increased," a pet hotel boss explained.

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