Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign
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An official at the government’s anti-corruption agency said Hong Wei was “reflecting on his mistakes”, a euphemism suggesting he was under investigation. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Wei Hong, governor of China’s Sichuan province, under investigation for corruption

Wei Hong, the governor of Sichuan province in China and an associate of the jailed national security tsar Zhou Yongkang, is under investigation for alleged corruption.

The probe was indicated by a senior official at a press conference held by China’s anti-graft authority.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about Wei’s whereabouts.

READ MORE: China’s Communist Party graft-busters to widen political watch in 2016

Wei, 61, is the second serving governor to be placed under investigation for corruption amid the central government’s sweeping anti-graft campaign.

The authorities announced in October that the former governor of Fujian, Su Shulin, was under investigation for alleged graft. His resignation was “accepted” the following month.

Wei was a deputy in the organisation department in Sichuan in charge of the appointment of Communist Party cadres when Zhou came to govern the province in 1999.

Wei was promoted twice before Zhou left in 2002, first as party boss in Ya’an and later head of the organisation department.

Zhou was sentenced to life in prison last June for corruption, abuse of power and intentionally leaking state secrets.

Sichuan has been one of the most severely punished areas in Beijing’s anti-graft campaign, with five officials at provincial or vice-provincial level sacked.

Wei is “reflecting on his mistakes”, anti-corruption official Wu Liangyu told a press briefing , using a phrase suggesting the official was under investigation.

Wu stopped short of explicitly saying Wei was the focus of a probe, but added he was suspected of “discipline violations”.

READ MORE: Former rising political star Su Shulin investigated over alleged corruption while at Chinese oil giant Sinopec

Wei has been absent from several key meetings in Sichuan since December, fuelling speculation about his whereabouts.

His last public appearance was in December in Beijing where he attended the central economic work conference, according to footage shown by the state-run broadcaster CCTV.