China former vice-governor in graft probe: State media

BEIJING (AFP) - A former provincial vice-governor is under investigation for alleged disciplinary violations, state media reported on Tuesday, in the latest instance of a high-level clampdown on corruption.

Ni Fake, who was once the vice-governor of Anhui province in eastern China, is being probed for "suspected serious disciplinary offences", the official Xinhua news agency said.

The phrase is a euphemism for corruption in China's state media.

The brief dispatch cited a statement released by the ruling Communist Party's powerful Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The report offered no other details about what the alleged wrongdoing entailed.

But it comes after China's newly-installed leaders proclaimed that tackling corruption was a key policy, with President Xi Jinping saying there would be "no leniency" for wrongdoing. Previous leaders have made similar promises.

Top Communist Party officials, including President Xi, have identified graft as a scourge that threatens the very existence of the Communist Party, which has ruled China since emerging victorious in a civil war in 1949.

Last month, the party announced the sacking of Liu Tienan, deputy director of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, following a probe into graft allegations that emerged on the Internet.

Yang Kun, a former vice-president of the Agricultural Bank of China - one of the country's biggest banks - was expelled by the party and stripped of his public offices for corruption, state-run media reported last month.

Chinese citizens have taken to Internet forums such as Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service, in recent years to expose wrongdoing and to vent their anger over corruption.

The campaign by authorities to rein in nefarious practices, however, appears carefully calibrated, with distinct limits to how far citizens can go in unveiling corruption.

More than 10 activists who campaigned to have political leaders disclose their financial assets have been arrested, with one charged with "inciting state subversion", lawyers for them told AFP last month.

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