China expels top police official Cai Guangliao from Communist Party

BEIJING (Reuters) - A top police official under investigation for corruption has been expelled from China's ruling Communist Party, the country's top anti-graft body said on Friday.

State media said Cai Guangliao holds the rank of major general in the paramilitary armed police, which is under the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC). He was first placed under investigation last year on suspicion of violating party discipline, a euphemism for corruption.

A statement from the anti-corruption agency said Cai took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others and accepted bribes, illegally engaging in business activities and accepting gifts of money and valuables.

His case has been transferred to the judicial system, the statement said.

Cai previously served as deputy party boss of the public security department in the southern province of Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong and Macau. He oversaw the security of leaders in the province, state media said.

President Xi Jinping, who presides over the CMC, has expanded a crackdown on corruption in China's military and domestic security forces, taking down several high-ranking figures including the once-formidable domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou, the former CMC vice chairman.

In a separate statement on Friday, the CMC said the army must root out "chronic diseases" and adopt a zero-tolerance stance toward corrupt officers, the official news agency Xinhua said.

The Defence Ministry said on Thursday that anti-corruption inspectors would target the People's Armed Police as well as China's nuclear forces, the navy and the air force.