Chinese Communist Party Expels Former Railways Minister

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The Chinese Communist Party has expelled former railways minister Liu Zhijun. He had been removed from his railways ministry position in February 2011 for "serious disciplinary violations" with allegations of corruption and bribery. His ouster from the Party—announced Monday—indicates that he will almost certainly be convicted in court.

Liu was railways minister from 2003 to 2011. He had spearheaded much of China's high-speed rail development. That system came under intense scrutiny last July when a train collision killed 40 people in the city of Wenzhou, raising concerns over safety in track construction and signaling.

Liu had already been removed from his position several months before that crash, but he may still be held partially responsible, in particular because in China, politics and public scrutiny can have a major impact on court decisions.

Liu had close ties to former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.