China's Communist Party sacks 2 women officials for 'adultery'

For the first time, China's ruling Communist Party has sacked two women officials for committing "adultery" and ordered the arrest of one of them for bribery.

Prosecutors in Shanxi Province have approved the arrest of 49-year-old Zhang Xiuping, a former deputy chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at Jinzhong, on suspicion of bribery, the Supreme People's Procuratorate announced.

The case is still under investigation, an official statement said.

Four senior officials in Shanxi, including Zhang and another woman, Yang Xiaobo, were expelled from the party and removed from their posts for "serious violation of discipline and laws" -- a euphemism for corruption.

Yang was a former deputy party chief and mayor of Gaoping, a county-level city.

Zhang and Yang were said to have "committed adultery with others", the first time the anti-graft authorities have used such a term in relation to female officials, official media reported here today.

CPC regulations say that officials who commit adultery, which is included in a list of breaches of socialist morals, can face penalties ranging from a warning to expulsion from the party.

So far this year, at least 32 officials have been removed from their positions after being accused by prosecutors of committing adultery, the Mirror Evening News said.

Hundreds of officials, including top military officials, have been sacked and prosecuted under an anti-corruption campaign launched in China after President Xi Jinping took over.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said adultery was not against law, but was regarded as unacceptable behaviour for party members.