China has fired the director of the National Religious Affairs Administration and placed him under investigation for corruption , days after the new cabinet started its new term. State news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday that Cui Maohu, 57, has been placed under investigation for suspected severe violations of party discipline and the country’s laws, the customary euphemism for corruption. A native of Yunnan province, Cui spent his entire political career in his home province until he was promoted to head the religious affairs body and made deputy head of the United Front Work Department in June last year. It is customary for the religious affairs chief to be made a deputy director of the United Front Work Department, which is responsible for relations with non-Communist Party bodies at home and abroad. Cui, a former teacher at a vocational school, started to climb up the political ladder when he was appointed deputy head of a small township in Qujing city in Yunnan in 1989. For the next two decades he held a variety of administrative and personnel roles, becoming head of the provincial human resources and social welfare department in 2014. Former Chinese lawmaker dies in detention awaiting corruption verdict In 2017, he was promoted to become party boss of Lijiang city, where he stayed before he was made Yunnan vice governor in 2021. Although details of his alleged offences have not been disclosed, two of his former bosses in Yunnan have previously been sentenced for corruption. Bai Enpei, Yunnan party boss between 2001 to 2011, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve in 2016 for illegally amassing more than 247 million yuan (US$37 million) in assets. The sentence was later converted into a life sentence. Meanwhile, Qin Guangrong, Yunnan party boss between 2011 to 2014, was jailed for seven years in 2021 for accepting bribes worth 23.9 million yuan (US$3.7 million). It is unclear if Cui is implicated in the cases of Bai and Qin and he publicly denounced the two when he was Lijiang party boss. Cui is the third senior official put under investigation for corruption following the announcement of a new cabinet last Sunday. On Thursday, it was announced that the retired deputy chairman of Chongqing municipal people’s congress, Zheng Hong, was under investigation. On Friday, it emerged that the former deputy party chief of Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Jiang Zhigang, was also under investigation. Jiang had previously served as deputy director of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and organisation department head of Beijing’s municipal party committee. China’s top anti-corruption office takes aim at ‘double dealers’ within Two former senior officials in the financial sector – Wang Jianhong, former party boss and head of the Bank of China’s Beijing branch, and Wang Weijun, former Henan branch head at China Development Bank – are also being investigated on suspicion of graft. The Chinese financial sector has been the target of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign over the past two years. During the Communist Party congress last October, President Xi Jinping vowed that the anti-corruption drive would continue.