Ex-Jiangxi Copper exec expelled from China's Communist Party for corruption

BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - A former general manager of Jiangxi Copper Co , one of China’s biggest copper producers, has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and public office for grave violations of discipline and law, the country’s top graft watchdog said.

Wu Yuneng, a 20-year veteran of state-run Jiangxi Copper and a well-known figure in China’s copper industry, was found to have illegally accepted gifts, used public funds to play golf and used company vehicles for personal travel, according to a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) late on Friday.

The 57-year-old Wu, who joined Jiangxi Copper in 1998, rose through the ranks to became general manager in January 2018, only to abruptly leave the company six months later.

An investigation by the Jiangxi branch of the CCDI also found Wu had accepted dinner invitations that could affect the fair execution of official duties, according to the statement, which called his actions “seriously irresponsible” and an “abuse of power.” Wu is also suspected of having taken bribes, it added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has waged a war against graft since coming to power in 2012, locking up dozens of senior officials and executives.

Reuters was unable to reach Wu or a representative for comment.

Jiangxi Copper, whose former chairman Li Yihuang was in January sentenced to 18 years in jail for bribery and corruption offences, did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of normal business hours. (Reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Stephen Coates)