Senior official from China's Sichuan under graft probe: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - A senior government official in China's Sichuan province is under investigation for "severe discipline violations", which is often a euphemism for corruption, state media said.

Zhao Miao, a senior official in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, was taken away on Thursday for questioning by anti-corruption investigators, the Xinhua news agency said late on Saturday.

President Xi Jinping has launched a sweeping crackdown on corruption since taking power, warning that the problem is a threat to the Communist Party's survival.

The most senior politician to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the Communist Party swept to power in 1949 is former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, whose power base was Sichuan.

Investigators have questioned a raft of senior government officials over corruption and links to Zhou though it was not clear if the investigation into Zhao had anything to do with Zhou.

Zhao, born in 1959, is a standing committee member of the Chengdu municipal committee of the Communist Party of China, Xinhua said.

Xinhua gave no other details of the investigation into him.

Separately, Xinhua reported that Shen Weichen, party secretary and executive vice president of China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), had been put under investigation for suspected corruption.

As China's largest national organisation of scientific and technological workers, CAST maintains close ties with millions of scientists, engineers and other people working in science and technology, according to its website.

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