(From ABC/Reuters)

A Chinese court has jailed a former top political advisor with links to China’s disgraced former security chief Zhou Yongkang for 12 years, as part of the country’s anti-graft crackdown.

Li Chongxi, a top aide in Sichuan, had links to former security chief Zhou Yongkang
Li Chongxi, a top aide in Sichuan, had links to former security chief Zhou Yongkang

Li Chongxi was a top aide in south-western Sichuan province and, like many of the others who have been arrested, he had links to Zhou who was jailed for life over corruption earlier this year.

The graft purge has targeted people in Zhou’s former powerbases, including Sichuan province, and the Chinese oil industry.

Li was indicted in April and tried in a court in Nangchang in China’s southern province of Jiangxi.

He “admitted to his crimes and expressed regret” after appearing in court, state media said, adding that his cooperation had led to lighter punishment.

Li’s official biography said he was promoted, during Zhou’s tenure in Sichuan, to be a deputy provincial party boss and head of the province’s anti-graft watchdog.

News agency Xinhua said Li, from whom authorities confiscated assets worth 1 million yuan ($219,000), used his positions in Sichuan, including those at real estate and construction firms, to secure rights for local companies to develop state-owned land.

Either directly or through his wife, Li accepted money and goods valued at about 11.1 million yuan ($2.43 million), it added.

Many of Zhou’s political allies, including Jiang Jiemin, the former top regulator of state-owned enterprises, have been felled in the graft crackdown launched by President Xi Jinping since becoming party leader in late 2012, and president in 2013.

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