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Chinese bullet train leader charged with corruption

April 10, 2013|By Chris Megerian
  • A journalist photographs bullet trains on a new high-speed railway linking Shanghai and Hangzhou in 2010.
A journalist photographs bullet trains on a new high-speed railway linking… (Eugene Hoshiko / Associated…)

As Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to build California's own high-speed rail system, he's pointed to the example set by China, where 5,000 miles of track have been laid in recent years. During his visit there this week, he will ride one of those bullet trains from Beijing to Shanghai.

But one day before Brown steps aboard, an embarrassing episode involving the railroad is being shoved back into the spotlight in China.

The man who led construction of the country's high-speed rail system is facing corruption charges, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors say Liu Zhijun took bribes and abused his power when he served as the country’s railways minister, a job he held from 2003 to 2011.

The powerful ministry run by Zhijun has faced increasing scrutiny and last month the Chinese government said it would be reorganized.

Yang Yang, a professor at the Politics and Public Management Institute at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Associated Press that "it's not surprising to see such corruption in the railway system that was operated under a monopoly without proper regulatory monitoring."

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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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