Jiang Jiemin: China sacks former energy chief

File photo: Jiang Jiemin Jiang Jiemin has not commented publicly on the allegations

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China has sacked a top official responsible for overseeing state-owned companies amid a corruption probe, Chinese media say.

Jiang Jiemin was removed from office due to "suspected serious disciplinary violations", state-run news agency Xinhua said, citing authorities.

The term is commonly used to refer to corruption. Mr Jiang has not commented publicly on the allegations.

Chinese authorities announced they were investigating Mr Jiang on Sunday.

Mr Jiang was head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac).

Formerly, he headed the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Four CNPC executives are also under investigation for corruption.

Mr Jiang is the first member of the current 205-strong Communist Party Central Committee to face such charges and state media is presenting it as proof of the new leadership's resolve to clean up public life, the BBC's John Sudworth in Shanghai reports.

However some observers suggest that, whether guilty of corruption or not, there may be a political edge to Jiang Jiemin's downfall, as vested interests in state-owned industries have long been seen as opposed to economic reform, our correspondent adds.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has described fighting corruption as a priority, warning that "bribe-taking by some party members and cadres" poses "severe challenges" to the Communist Party's rule.

Several high-profile officials have been felled in recent months.

In July, former Railways Minister Liu Zhijun was given a suspended death sentence for corruption and abuse of power.

Liu Tienan, formerly deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, was sacked in August and is the subject of an investigation, state media say.

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