Ex-head of China coal producer latest to face corruption probe

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The former chairman of Shaanxi Yulin Energy Group, a large coal producer based in northwest China, is being investigated for corruption, the government said on Monday, the latest graft probe involving China's mostly state-owned energy sector.

The official website of the China Commission of Discipline and Inspection (www.ccdi.gov.cn), China's anti-corruption authority, said Wang Rongze had committed "serious breaches of discipline and law" and had been expelled from the Communist Party.

Wang had abused his position and taken bribes and would be handed over to judicial authorities for prosecution, the watchdog said. It did not say if he had been detained.

Reuters was not able to reach Wang or the company for comment.

China has launched a series of graft probes into the energy sector, announcing in August and September that five former senior executives from the country's biggest oil firm, the China National Petroleum Corporation, had been put under investigation for "serious discipline violations", government shorthand mostly used to describe graft.

The investigations into the energy sector are part of a wider campaign against corruption by President Xi Jinping, who has identified the problem as a threat to the ruling Communist Party's survival.