BEIJING – China’s ruling Communist Party on Thursday expelled a former top corruption investigator for a “wanton abuse of power”, the latest senior official to fall in a sweeping anti-graft campaign.

Liu Yanping, previously a key player in the secretive Ministry of State Security, was found guilty of corruption, the party’s top anti-graft watchdog said.

His sacking comes after two other former vice-ministers for public security – Sun Lijun and Fu Zhenghua – were fired for corruption in 2021.

Liu “participated in Sun Lijun’s political gang” and lived a lavish lifestyle of golf and banquets, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement.

President Xi Jinping has spearheaded a wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign within the party’s ranks, which analysts say has served his political goals of weeding out enemies and weakening rival factions.

In 2020, Mr Xi launched a renewed “rectification” campaign targeting police, the judiciary and state security officials in which he vowed to “scrape the poison off the bone”.

He will seek a precedent-defying third term at an October Party Congress.

Separately, the CCDI also announced Thursday the expulsion from the party of Wang Bin, former chairman of China Life Insurance Company, and former Liaoning province vice-governor Hao Chunrong for corruption and bribery.

Earlier this week, the former vice-governor of Gansu province, Song Liang, was sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes. AFP