Senior official in China's Qinghai province faces corruption probe

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China is investigating a senior official in western Qinghai province for graft, the ruling Communist Party's corruption watchdog said late on Friday, making him the latest target in a crackdown on corruption.

Mr Mao Xiaobing - party secretary of Xining, the capital of Qinghai - is "suspected of serious discipline violations" and is being investigated, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a one-line statement on its website. It gave no further details but in China the term discipline violations is generally used to denote corruption.

Mr Mao is the eighth provincial or ministry-level official investigated so far this year, the Global Times, a popular tabloid owned by the party's official newspaper People's Daily, said on Saturday.

President Xi Jinping has said endemic corruption threatens the party's very survival and has vowed to go after high-flying"tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Corruption by government officials stokes public discontent, but critics say it will be impossible to truly weed out graft until high-ranking officials are forced to disclose their wealth.

Last week, China's top anti-corruption body said it was investigating Mr Song Lin, chairman of state-run conglomerate China Resources Holding Co. Ltd. for a "serious violation of discipline".