China investigates party officials in restive Xinjiang for 'discipline breaches'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is investigating two Communist Party officials in the restive western region of Xinjiang on suspicion of “serious disciplinary breaches”, the graft watchdog said on Thursday, using a common euphemism for corruption.

The Xinjiang Discipline Inspection Commission announced the investigation into Hu Jun, 49, party secretary of Karakax county in south Xinjiang, and Zhang Jinbiao, 53, party secretary of Hotan, the prefecture where Karakax is located.

Both officials are also being investigated for dereliction of duty, the commission said in online statements.

The commission did not give details of either official’s suspected wrongdoing. They could not be reached for comment.

The pair are just the latest in a long line of party officials to be investigated for graft since President Xi Jinping waged war on corruption in the party after assuming power four years ago. The cases are publicised on state media on an almost daily basis.

Resource-rich Xinjiang has been home to waves of violence in recent years, with hundreds of people killed in incidents often sparked by tensions between the Muslim Uighur people who call the region home and the ethnic majority Han.

Three assailants drove a vehicle into a government building and stabbed two people to death in Karakax last week before being shot dead. [nL4N1EO05A]

Hotan City party secretary Chen Yuanhua was expelled from the party in September 2016 for taking bribes and misusing public funds.

The former top official of Xinjiang’s civil affairs bureau was jailed on Wednesday for 16 years for taking bribes, state media said.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Nick Macfie