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April 21, 2014

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Chinese vice governor in corruption investigation

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 | 5:24 a.m.

BEIJING (AP) — China's ruling Communist Party said Tuesday a vice governor of the southern island province of Hainan is under investigation for serious violations, an apparent reference to corruption.

Ji Wenlin is the latest high-ranking official to be investigated since party leader and President Xi Jinping launched an anti-corruption campaign after taking over as head of the ruling Communist Party last spring.

As with several others who have fallen in the campaign, Ji has personal and professional connections to the powerful former Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang, currently the subject of a rumored investigation.

The party's disciplinary body said in a one-line statement that Ji is suspected of serious violations of regulations and the law. That's almost always a reference to accepting bribes and kickbacks, providing unauthorized favors, and other forms of personal malfeasance.

The statement gave no details.

Xi has made fighting widespread graft a key campaign of his leadership so far, with promises to target both junior and high-level officials.

Investigations have so far targeted businesspeople, senior executives in the state oil sector — Zhou's former power base — and most recently, a vice minister of public security. Ji was a key aide to Zhou in a last three of his central government positions, before taking up a series of positions in Hainan's local government.

Although rumors are rife, no official word has been released about any investigation into Zhou, until 2012 a member of the party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee.