News / Asia

China Investigates State Assets Regulator

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China says it has opened an investigation into an official who is the director of the commission that oversees China's state-owned companies, in the country's latest high-profile corruption case.

A government statement said Jiang Jiemin, director of the Cabinet's Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, is suspected of what it called "serious disciplinary violations." The government generally uses that vague term for allegations of corruption.

Jiang was previously head of energy giant China National Petroleum Company.

A similar investigation into four executives at the energy company was announced last week.

The investigations come amid an anti-corruption campaign by President Xi Jinping.

The probes were announced shortly after the close of the trial of Bo Xilai, once a rising political star who is now awaiting a verdict on charges of graft, bribery and abuse of power.

China's Communist Party has acknowledged widespread corruption within its ranks. It has made a highly publicized effort to crack down on graft, pursuing charges against senior and lower level officials.

On Friday, a Hong Kong newspaper said China has opened a corruption investigation into retired politician Zhou Yongkang, who until last year was one of the country's elite leaders. Seventy-year-old Zhou was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest governing body, from 2007 to 2012.

The South China Morning Post said that Zhou, who also served as head of the ministry of land and resources and the party chief of Sichuan province, will be investigated for his alleged part in oil field and property deals that profited his family.

The New York Times reported last year that the family of former prime minister Wen Jiabao had accumulated $2.7 billion in hidden assets. China denied the story, calling it a "smear" with "ulterior motives."

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