Tan Xiwei, deputy director of the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee, is being investigated for suspected disciplinary violations, the anti-graft watchdog has said.
Tan is the most senior Chongqing official to be investigated for suspected graft since President Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012. Premier Li Keqiang toured the municipality last week, a high-profile visit interpreted by some as a sign of support for the city's new leader, Sun Zhengcai .
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced the investigation on its website yesterday, but did not disclose details. Tan was in charge of handling residents displaced by the controversial Three Gorges Dam reservoir area when he was Chongqing deputy mayor from 2006 to last year.
The investigation coincides with a reshuffle of the Three Gorges Corporation's leadership last month. Former chairman Cao Guangjing was made Hubei's deputy governor, while Chen Fei, who was general manager, was made deputy director of the Three Gorges Construction Office, which is overseen by the State Council.
An inspection team sent by the party's anti-graft watchdog and the Central Organisation Department wrapped up a two-month investigation of the reservoir area in February. At the time, observers said the reshuffle appeared a "very serious matter".
"It takes fairly unusual circumstances for two top executives at a state-owned enterprise to be removed on the same day," said Basil Hwang, a partner at law firm Zhong Lun.
In June, Chongqing district party chief Lei Zhengfu was jailed 13 years after a sex tape leaked online in November.
A few months later, former Chonqing party boss Bo Xilai was jailed for life for corruption and abuse of power.