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China official given a life sentence for taking bribes

BEIJING--A Chinese regional official was sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday for bribe-taking, a court said, the first high-ranking bureaucrat to be jailed in the corruption crackdown overseen by President Xi Jinping.

Wang Suyi, 53, was last year removed from his post as chief of the Communist party's United Front Work Department in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, an agency that liaises between the ruling organisation and non-Communist groups.

He was convicted of bribery and sentenced to life in prison by the First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing, the court said on its official account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

He was charged with taking more than 10.73 million yuan (US$1.7 million) in bribes between 2005 and 2013 in exchange for securing business deals for companies and promotions for individuals, earlier Chinese media reports said.

Wang was the first official to face criminal trial among the 40 of vice-ministerial or higher rank investigated since China's once-in-a-decade power transition in 2012 that anointed Xi as chief of the ruling Communist Party, according to the reports.

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