On Tuesday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that Jiang Jiemin was removed from his post as head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
The report follows Sunday’s announcement that the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was investigating Jiang for “serious disciplinary violations,” Beijing’s code for graft. The corruption probe is thought to be the first initiated by Xi Jinping, China’s new leader, against a ministerial-level official.
Xi inherited investigations of various officials, especially Zhou Yongkang, the former internal security czar. Zhou, Jiang, and virtually all other recent high-level targets either have or had some connection with China National Petroleum Corporation, China’s largest oil company, raising speculation that Xi is conducting a purge of the “Petroleum Faction.” Zhou, for instance, once was head of CNPC, as the oil giant is known.