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Former Chinese military chief of staff under investigation

AFP  |  Beijing 

A former of China's military is under investigation on "suspicion of bribery", said today, as Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-graft crackdown claimed another top general.

Fang was appointed to the PLA's top post in 2012. But he was abruptly replaced in late August amid a stand-off with over a territorial dispute and just days after he had US top brass to discuss

The general has been "transferred to the military prosecution authority on suspicion of bribery" said Xinhua agency without providing further details.

Fang was one of two senior generals who did not appear on a list of delegates to the Communist Party's twice-a-decade last October, sparking speculation he had run afoul of Xi's anti-corruption campaign.

The other, Zhang Yang, committed suicide in in November after being investigated over connections to two graft-tainted former senior military officers.

Xinhua said the decided to hold "talks" with Zhang on August 28 -- just days after Fang's removal -- about his links to and Xu Caihou, top army officials who were expelled from the ruling party.

Xi promised during October's party to intensify graft crackdowns which since 2012 have brought down 1.5 million party officials at various levels -- including top military leadership.

Corruption has long been an intractable problem for the country, but many experts argue that the campaign has the hallmarks of a political purge as the Chinese consolidates his power.

Xi has sought to enhance his control over the two- million-strong military, the world's largest, reshuffling its leadership and vowing to make it "world-class" by 2050.

In November the military was ordered to pledge to be "absolutely loyal, honest and reliable to Xi" in new guidelines released by the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 19:40 IST