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Shanxi official ousted for 'age deceit'

(China Daily)

09:05, October 17, 2011

BEIJING - An official in North China's Shanxi province lost his post over the weekend, after claims emerged online that he had stated a false age to get reelected.

Shen Qinghua, who was the head of the discipline inspection commission, the anti-corruption agency of Linfen city, was removed from his post on Friday, the Linfen Daily reported on Saturday.

He was replaced by Chen Guorong, a senior official from the provincial discipline commission, it reported.

But the report did not provide any explanation for the dismissal of Shen.

Calls to the spokesman of the provincial Party's organization department, the personnel authority in charge of appointments and removals of officials, went unanswered on Sunday.

Since early September, Shen had been under fire due to widespread online claims that he had faked his age to get reelected as the head of the city's discipline inspection commission.

The online posts alleged that Shen was born in 1950 instead of 1955 as stated in his official CV.

An anonymous netizen claimed that a visit to Shen's home village confirmed that his birth year was 1950, making him 61 as of this year and hence ineligible for election as an official.

Under Chinese personnel regulations, officials are required to retire at the age of 60 if their ranks are below minister level.

The online posts also contended that if Shen's birth year had actually been 1955, he would not have been allowed to join the Party in 1970, which was also stated in his CV.

The constitution of the Communist Party of China stipulates that qualified applicants should be at least 18 years old to join the party.

In August, however, Shen was reelected as the head of the city's discipline inspection commission after being appointed to that post in August 2008.

On Sunday, Shen was also removed from the list of leading officials in Linfen on the city's official website.

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