More than 400 officials have been placed under investigation this year for alleged corruption in Guangxi, a provincial leader said. Ma Qingsheng, Guangxi Deputy Communist Party Secretary, said about three per cent of Guangxi's 15,000 officials of directorate rank were being investigated for corruption. In an interview with reporters from Hong Kong, Mr Ma said that about a dozen of these suspects were police officers and more than 30 officials had already been charged. Mr Ma's comment followed a series of reports of corruption in the southern border province. Cheng Kejie, former chairman of the provincial Government, was reported to be under investigation after missing National Day celebrations in Beijing earlier this month. Mr Cheng became a vice-chairman of the National People's Congress after he left Guangxi last year. It was alleged that he was exposed by Xu Bingsong, one of his former deputies in Guangxi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last August for taking 550,000 yuan (HK$512,000) in bribes. If charged, Mr Cheng would be the most senior official to face prosecution following the sentencing of former Beijing Party Secretary Chen Xitong a year ago on corruption charges. 'The Central Commission of Discipline Inspection is now investigating Mr Cheng and it will give you [the public] an account when the investigation is completed,' said Mr Ma in a reference to China's anti-graft body. But Mr Ma denied more officials would be exposed because of the investigation into Mr Cheng's alleged corruption. 'Some people speculated that there would be internal [political] conflict in Guangxi and more officials would be implicated,' Mr Ma said. 'That is not true. We only take action if there is evidence of corruption,' Mr Ma said. He said the arrest of some senior officials showed that the authorities were committed to rooting out corruption. 'The root of the problem is in the system and the mentality of officials. There are corrupt officials now and there will be such officials in the future. But we are determined to fight against them,' Mr Ma said.