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Xi's anti-corruption purge reaches top brass

Investigation of active Politburo member is first under Chinese leader

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Sun Zhengcai, right, chats with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang during the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing in March 2016.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-graft campaign has ensnared for the first time a sitting member of the Communist Party's top leadership, suggesting a bold power grab by Xi ahead of a key party congress this fall.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China's anti-corruption body, is investigating Sun Zhengcai, part of the 25-member ruling Politburo. Sun was stripped Saturday of his title as party chief overseeing Chongqing, the sprawling metropolis in southwestern China. Although the charges have not been officially disclosed, Sun is reportedly under scrutiny in connection with another investigation, of He Ting, the city's former top police official and deputy mayor, for disciplinary violations.

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