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Former Chinese banking executive stands trial for bribery

A former executive with one of China's big four state banks went on trial on Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes totalling US$4.9 million, the latest target of a high-profile crackdown on corruption.

Shanghai - A former executive with one of China's big four state banks went on trial on Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes totalling US$4.9 million, the latest target of a high-profile crackdown on corruption.

Yang Kun, former vice-president of the Agricultural Bank of China, appeared at the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern city of Nanjing, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a statement.

Yang sought benefits for others by taking advantage of his position with the bank and gained more than 30.8 million yuan (US$4.9 million) in return between 2005 and 2012, according to the statement.

He was expelled from the ruling Communist Party and stripped of his public offices following an investigation by the party's internal disciplinary body, state media reported in May last year.

Appointments at China's big four banks are approved by the party, which strictly controls finance in the country.

Yang is the highest-ranking bank executive to be investigated for corruption since the big four banks held stock market flotations, according to state media.

His downfall came amid an intensifying anti-graft campaign in which authorities have vowed repeatedly to bring down both senior "tigers" and low-level "flies" to maintain the "purity" of the party.

Over the weekend authorities placed under investigation Su Rong, a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a debating chamber that is part of the party-controlled governmental structure.

Su is being investigated for suspected disciplinary violations, a phrase which typically refers to graft.

In May, a National Energy Administration official, whose job involved approving the construction of power projects, was also probed after being found to have kept more than 100 million yuan in cash at his home.

Several senior personnel have been ousted over alleged graft since President Xi Jinping took power as party chief in late 2012.

Party leaders consider corruption -- a source of strong public discontent -- a threat to their rule.

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