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China indicts former Party chief of Xinjiang's capital for graft

The former Chinese Communist Party chief of Urumqi, the capital of the far western region of Xinjiang, has been indicted on corruption charges, China's state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Yang Gang is accused of accepting bribes by "seeking benefit for others" and "illegally receiving other people's huge assets," Xinhua said.

Yang served as party secretary of Urumqi between 1999 and 2006.

Corruption crackdown

President Xi Jinping has pushed a sweeping crackdown on corruption since taking power more than two years ago.

Xi, like others before him, warned that the problem was so severe it could affect the party's ability to maintain power.

For years Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, has been beset by violence, blamed by the government on Islamist militants who want an independent state called East Turkestan.

Last year, the ethnic Uighur mayor of Hotan, a major city in the heavily Uighur south of Xinjiang, was put under investigation for corruption, one of the few ethnic minority people caught up in Xi's campaign.

A deputy regional security chief and former head of the prison system in Xinjiang has also been put under investigation for suspected corruption, the government said last week.

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