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Senior official Ling Jihua under investigation

Ling Jihua, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee (national political adviser), is under investigation. Photo: Reuters

China's anti-corruption campaign has placed another high-ranking 'tiger' under probe.

Ling Jihua, 58, a senior Party official and national political adviser, is under investigation for "suspected serious disciplinary violations".

Earlier this month, authorities formally arrested the former security chief Zhou Yongkang, the country’s highest-ranking official to be prosecuted in more than three decades.

From 2007 until 2012, Ling directed the party’s general office, an administrative body with close ties to China’s top leaders. He was demoted in September 2012 after sources said his son was involved in a deadly crash in March 2012.

Ling’s 23 year-old son Ling Gu crashed a Ferrari while joyriding in Beijing, killing himself and seriously injuring two women, which is sensitive to perceptions that children of top party officials live rich, privileged lifestyles completely out of touch with the masses, the sources said. Ling allegedly attempted to engineer a coverup to the incident.

Ling was dropped from his post as head of the party's General Office of the Central Committee, a powerful post similar to cabinet secretary in Westminster-style governments.

He was then appointed as minister for the less influential United Front Work Department, which is in charge of co-opting non-Communists, religious groups and ethnic minorities.

Speculation about Ling's fate had been running high after a probe into his older brother, Ling Zhengce, was announced in June, for suspected "serious discipline and law violations".

China's campaign against official corruption has intensified since Xi took over as president, with several senior government figures and state company executives in detention.

The government is also investigating Xu Caihou, the retired deputy head of the Central Military Commission.

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