BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Two former vice mayors of east China's cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, Xu Maiyong and Jiang Renjie, were executed Tuesday morning for bribery, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) said.
The SPC approved the executions after reviewing both cases, Sun Jungong, a spokesman for the SPC, said during a press conference held in Beijing on Tuesday.
Xu used his official power to interfere with project contracts and to help companies and people obtain land, promotions and tax breaks while acting as chief of the Xihu District government, Party secretary of the district and mayor of Zhejiang Province's city of Hangzhou, Sun said.
Xu sought and accepted a total of 145 million yuan (about 22.2 million U.S. dollars) in bribes and embezzled another 53.59 million yuan from a state-owned property development firm.
In addition, Xu arranged the illegal return of 71.7 million yuan in land purchase payments to a property development firm in which he had a stake, Sun added.
Jiang took advantage of his position as deputy mayor of Jiangsu Province's city of Suzhou to obtain benefits from real estate development projects for five companies, Sun said.
In return, Jiang took bribes, including more than 108 million yuan in cash, from property developers.
Fifty-two-year-old Xu was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court of the city of Ningbo on May 12.
Jiang, 62, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court of the city of Nanjing in April 2008.
Both Xu and Jiang appealed the courts' decisions after their trials. Their appeals were rejected by higher courts.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), stressed the government's efforts to combat corruption in a speech delivered to mark the Party's 90th founding anniversary on July 1.
Saying that the fight against corruption is crucial in gaining popular support for the CPC and ensuring its survival, Hu urged the Party to remain vigilant against corruption.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, an unidentified senior official with the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection called for more resolute and effective measures to fight corruption and promote honesty among officials in China.
Noting that corruption has become increasingly complicated and covert, the official urged comprehensive efforts with input from various authorities across the country to stem corruption at its root.
An unidentified senior official with the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said that efforts should be made to create a system through which government employees would be required to report their assets.
In addition, the SPP official urged efforts to improve the management of money and invoices handled by government officials, as well as improve the credit system covering enterprises and individuals.