Senior Chengdu official investigated in China graft crackdown

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The deputy Communist Party boss in China's southwestern city of Chengdu is being investigated, the Chinese corruption watchdog said on Tuesday (Nov 24), the latest senior official to fall in a sweeping anti-graft campaign.

President Xi Jinping has embarked on a campaign to root out deeply ingrained corruption since assuming office three years ago. He has warned, like others before him, that the problem is so bad it could affect the party's grip on power.

Chengdu vice party secretary Li Kunxue is "suspected of serious violations of discipline", the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a one-line statement on its website. It did not give further details but such violations generally refer to corruption.

Li was a long-serving official in Chengdu, the prosperous capital of Sichuan province, a power base for disgraced former public security chief Zhou Yongkang.

Zhou, 72, was jailed for life in June after a secret trial, the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the Communist Party swept to power in 1949.

Many of his former colleagues or political allies have been caught up in the anti-corruption campaign, though some analysts say Xi is also eliminating rivals.

The bribery case into Tan Li, a Zhou ally and the former deputy Communist Party boss in the southern province of Hainan, had been transferred to Guangzhou city officials in Guangdong province for prosecution, China's top prosecutor said in a separate statement.

Former oil executives Jiang Jiemin and Wang Yongchun, Sichuan province aide Guo Yongxiang, and Li Chuncheng, the former deputy party boss in Sichuan, are among Zhou's fallen allies.

They were all given prison terms of between 13 and 20 years in October.