Cao Lixin, top anti-graft official, being probed on suspicion of corruption
Another senior official with the mainland's anti-graft agency is being investigated by his colleagues, authorities said yesterday.
The official, Cao Lixin, is a discipline inspector with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and holds a position at the level of deputy bureau director within the Communist Party.
Cao was being investigated for suspected violation of party discipline - a phrase taken to refer to corruption and bribery - the agency announced on its website.
Ten days ago Wei Jian, the director of the agency's No 4 office, was taken away from his office on the same suspicion. He was the first CCDI official to be investigated for possible graft since the watchdog set up an internal affairs branch as part of a restructuring in March.
Zhang Ming, a Beijing-based political analyst at Renmin University, said it was well-known that many of the agency's staff had not followed protocol during their investigations. "The CCDI lacked an independent oversight body so it's not strange to see another of its own officials being toppled," Zhang said.
The agency's willingness to turn the spotlight on itself indicated the momentum of the latest anti-graft drive would continue, he said.
Xiao Bin, a political scientist with Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, agreed.
"This only shows corruption is everywhere in the system. Just because he is from the CCDI doesn't mean he is clean," Xiao said.
"The anti-corruption drive must start within the CCDI in order for it to be convincing, as it is targeting the entire institution as a whole, and not just a single department or official."
Wei was mainly responsible for affairs related to financial institutions, such as the People's Bank of China.
Previously, he was tasked with anti-graft investigations in 11 provinces in the northwest and southwest, including Sichuan province, the power base of former security tsar Zhou Yongkang , according to Caixin.com.