China Sacks Communist Party Official on Graft Charges

K J M Varma/Beijing
China Sacks Communist Party Official on Graft Charges

China's one of the top planners Jiang Jiemin was today sacked by the ruling Communist Party as head of a body overseeing state-owned companies on charges of "suspected serious disciplinary violations", becoming second high-profile leader to be investigated after Bo Xilai.

Jiang, who held a senior position in the party, has been removed from office "because of suspected serious disciplinary violations", according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

The official website of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision said yesterday that 57-year-old Jiang, the head of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), is investigated for disciplinary violations.

Before heading SASAC in March, Jiang worked as chairman of top energy group the China National Petroleum Company, China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier, as well as one of the world's major oilfield service provider.

The probe against Jiang comes after reports about Chinese leadership decision to launch investigations against Zhou Yongkang, a top leader in the previous leadership headed by former President Hu Jintao.

Jiang was stated to be close to 72-year-old Zhou, the ninth ranking member of the all powerful Standing Committee which relinquished power last year.

Besides being the national security chief, Zhou was also connected with China's lucrative oil exploration industry for long time.

Bo, who is awaiting verdict in the trial for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power charges, is also regarded as a close associate of Zhou.

Zhou could be the highest ranking Chinese to face investigation in recent history. Bo reportedly named him during his trial last month.

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