China investigates three more senior army officers suspected of corruption

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military has confirmed that three more senior officers are under investigation for suspected corruption, as the world's largest army deepens its probe into deep-seated graft.

Weeding out corruption in the military is a top goal of President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, which controls China's 2.3 million-strong armed forces.

In a statement issued late on Sunday, the Defence Ministry named the three as Mr Zhan Guoqiao, former head of logistics in the Lanzhou military region, Mr Dong Mingxian, former head of logistics in the Beijing military region, and Mr Zhan Jun, former deputy military commander in the central province of Hubei.

The two Zhans are suspected of "serious breaches of discipline", the usual shorthand for corruption, while Mr Dong is suspected of breaking the law, the statement said, giving no other details.

It did not say if the two Zhans are related, but they share a relatively common family name.

All three had their cases handed over to military prosecutors in March, the statement said.

The logistics department has been particularly problematic for the People's Liberation Army.

Lieutenant-General Gu Junshan, who had been deputy director of the department, is suspected of selling hundreds of positions. He was charged with corruption last year.

Serving and retired Chinese military officers have said military graft is so pervasive it could undermine China's ability to wage war.

Mr Xi is also waging a broader campaign against corruption in general, vowing to take down powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Last week, China's Interpol office released a list of 100 wanted economic fugitives.

The official China Daily said on Monday that the first person on the list had been captured.

Dai Xuemin, a former manager at an investment firm in Shanghai was wanted for embezzlement. He was arrested at an airport in China while trying to return using a fake foreign passport, the newspaper added. It was unclear from where he had returned.