China investigates head of commission that oversees state-owned companies

BEIJING, China – Chinese authorities announced an investigation into the head of a commission that oversees China’s state-owned companies in the country’s latest high-profile corruption case.

The Ministry of Supervision said in a brief statement Sunday that Jiang Jiemin, director of the Cabinet’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, is being investigated over suspected serious disciplinary violations. The vague term is often shorthand in official Chinese announcements for allegations of corruption by a government official or manager of a state company.

Jiang was previously chairman of the country’s biggest oil company, China National Petroleum Corp. In the past week, the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced similar disciplinary investigations into four executives at the state-owned company.

Jiang left his post as chairman of CNPC in March to head the commission.

Jiang is the first member of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee, which includes the country’s top 200 officials, to have fallen since the party’s generational handover in November. Two other officials who are also under investigation were alternate members of the committee.

Authorities have announced a series of investigations into senior and lower level officials as President Xi Jinping has made a crackdown on corruption and extravagant, wasteful work styles a key feature of his first few months in power.

A general manager at state-owned phone company China Mobile was detained last month in connection with suspected discipline violations.

In July, former railways minister Liu Zhijun was given a suspended death sentence for bribery and abuse of power.

Last Monday, a high-profile corruption trial wrapped up for Bo Xilai, former party boss of the megacity of Chongqing.