Rail minister faces corruption probe

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The Independent Online

China's minister of Railways is under investigation for "severe violations of discipline", a state news agency reports, in a high-profile probe underscoring the wide-ranging corruption that threatens the ruling Communist Party's grip on power.

Ministerial-level officials in China are rarely targeted in corruption crackdowns, and the investigation of Liu Zhijun could be especially damaging to the party's credibility. The government has made huge investments in high-speed rail projects, and the railway system is vital to moving people and goods across the country.

The party's leadership has been trying to stamp out corruption – a major source of public distrust and anger – with the President, Hu Jintao, saying in a speech to the party's graft watchdog earlier this year that the situation was "grave"and would require long-term efforts.