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Published: Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 5:40:02 PM
Updated: Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 5:40:54 PM

China investigates top Guangdong official over 'discipline'

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A top official in China's prosperous Guangdong province is being investigated for "serious discipline violations", which is often a euphemism for corruption, state media said on Friday.

The official, Cao Jianliao, is vice mayor of Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, and Communist Party chief of Zengcheng, a built-up district on the southern fringes of Guangzhou, the Xinhua news agency said.

If the investigation is over suspected corruption, Cao would be one of the most senior officials in Guangdong to be caught up in a campaign against graft since Hu Chunhua, a high-flying official tipped as a future national leader, became the province's party chief last December.

Xinhua gave no other details about the investigation.

Guangdong is one of China's most affluent regions, encompassing the industrial and export powerhouse of the Pearl River Delta, which borders Hong Kong.

It has in recent years been hit by a string of high-profile corruption cases.

President Xi Jinping has pursued an aggressive anti-corruption drive since coming to power, establishing an anti-graft watchdog and vowing to pursue high-flying "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

In a separate report, Xinhua said a former deputy mayor of Jinhua in the prosperous eastern province of Zhejiang had been jailed for life on Thursday for taking bribes, including a car and three bars of gold.

It said Zhu Fulin received the bribes in exchange for influencing decisions about land and real estate development, personnel changes and environmental assessment reports.

(Reporting by James Pomfret; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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