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China investigates ex-official who led major corruption case

Former vice minister headed probe that ousted President Xi's rival Zhou

Former Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Fu Zhenghua is under investigation for violations of Communist Party discipline and law, according to the party's top anti-corruption body.    © Reuters

BEIJING (AP) -- A former Chinese justice minister has become a target of President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.

Fu Zhenghua, who was also a former vice minister of public security, is under investigation for severe violations of party discipline and law, the ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Saturday. It did not provide any details in a one-sentence statement posted online.

It's unclear why Fu, 66, would become a target of the campaign. He was the longtime head of public security for Beijing and vice minister of public security from 2013 to 2018. He then served as justice minister from 2018 to 2020.

When he was vice minister for public security, Fu led the probe of Zhou Yongkang, one of the most senior officials convicted in the anti-corruption campaign. Zhou, a former public security minster, was one of nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party's top body, under Xi's predecessor, President Hu Jintao.

Zhou was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 on charges of taking bribes, abusing power and leaking state secrets.

Xi has been accused of using the anti-corruption drive to drive out political adversaries, and Zhou's downfall was seen as burying a once-powerful faction in the Communist Party.

The announcement of the investigation into Fu comes two days after the party's discipline commission said it had expelled another former vice minister of public security, Sun Lijun, citing accusations of corruption and abandoning his post during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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