A vice-governor of Jiangxi province has been arrested for alleged corruption, Xinhua reported last night.
Hu Changqing was also expelled from the Communist Party and would face criminal charges soon, the news agency said.
'To expose a corrupt element like Hu Changqing underscores the determination of the Communist Party to expunge corruption,' Xinhua quoted a circular issued by top anti-graft body the Central Disciplinary Inspection Commission as saying.
According to the circular, Hu was accused of extorting 1.35 million yuan (HK$1.19 million), HK$750,000 and US$35,000 (HK$271,000), plus about 1.4 million yuan's worth of expensive watches and jewellery, from eight people between 1997 and July this year.
Hu was alleged to have provided favours including arranging exit permits to Hong Kong and granting approval for building projects and business licences.
One of the eight people he allegedly extorted was identified as Zhou Xuehua, a private businessman. Xinhua said Zhou was also under arrest.