Li has been accused of using his influence to help his brother's real estate company. (Photo/Xinhua)
Li Changchun, the Chinese propaganda chief and a member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, has been implicated in a corruption scandal involving a Dalian real-estate magnate as a result of the Bo Xilai affair, reports Boxun News, a citizen journalism site that is sourced mostly by anonymous users and often makes claims that are difficult to prove.
According to Boxun, Jiang Weiping, a journalist imprisoned for making accusations of corruption against party officials, including Bo, back in 1999, says Li's name has been linked to questionable business activities on the part of Fu Yanbin, chairman of Rightway Group, a real-estate enterprise based in the northeastern port city of Dalian where Bo was once mayor.
Fu, who featured on the Forbes China rich list in 2008, is currently detained by authorities for his involvement in Bo's alleged corruption. Jiang says Fu became close to Bo and his wife Gu Kailai through connections at their alma mater Peking University and for years Fu acquired cheap land thanks to Bo.
Boxun sources claim that under interrogation Fu told investigators that Rightway was able to acquire land at low prices and sell at high prices for more than a decade due to Li, who was said to be directly involved by making phone calls to secure lucrative deals for the company. Li's younger brother, Li Changqi, is Rightway's vice chairman.
The Bo Xilai affair has been the biggest political scandal to hit China for a generation. The former party chief of the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, is currently being detained for "serious discipline violations" believed to involve widespread corruption, while his wife Gu Kailai has been arrested for the alleged murder of British businessman Neil Heywood over a financial dispute.
Boxun reported in October last year that Bo had allies in three members of Politburo Standing Committee, namely Li, the Central Political Legislative Committee secretary Zhou Yongkang and chief legislator Wu Bangguo.
Li Changchun 李長春
Bo Xilai 薄熙來
Jiang Weiping 姜維平
Fu Yanbin 富彥斌
Gu Kailai 谷開來
Zhou Yongkang 周永康
Wu Bangguo 吳邦國