The head of China’s state-owned assets regulator, Jiang Jiemin, is under investigation for suspected “serious discipline violations,” the Ministry of Supervision said yesterday in a one-sentence statement that provided no other details.
Jiang, 57, former board chairman of the nation’s biggest energy company, China National Petroleum Corp, is the first member of the Party’s new Central Committee to be investigated as part of the country’s anti-corruption drive.
He was appointed head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, a body directly responsible for more than 100 state-owned companies, in March.
Jiang was a key figure in the overseas expansion of China’s energy industry. During his time at CNPC, the company actively engaged in cooperation with foreign energy giants to tap resources overseas.
He became chairman of the energy giant’s listed arm in 2007 and chairman of the whole group in 2011 after years of work in the oil industry and a spell in northwest China’s Qinghai Province as vice governor.
Jiang was selected as a full member of the Party’s 18th Central Committee last November.
The allegations against Jiang follow last week’s announcement by the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection that four senior executives with CNPC had been removed from their Party-related and corporate administrative posts due to suspected “serious violations of discipline.”
They were: Wang Yongchun, 54, deputy general manager and once considered a potential successor to Jiang as chairman of the oil company; Li Hualin, deputy general manager of CNPC and vice president of PetroChina Co, CNPC’s flagship listed unit; Ran Xinquan, vice president of PetroChina; and Wang Daofu, PetroChina’s chief geologist.
Hong Kong-listed PetroChina is Asia’s top oil and gas producer and the world’s most valuable listed energy company after Exxon Mobil.
President Xi Jinping has warned that corruption was a threat to the Party’s very survival after he took over as Party chief last November.
Xi vowed to oust corrupt officials all the way from low-level “flies” to high-ranking “tigers.”