Jiang, who held a senior position in the party, has been removed from office "because of suspected serious disciplinary violations,” media reported.

The official website of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision had on Monday said that 57-year-old Jiang, the head of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), is investigated for disciplinary violations.

Before heading SASAC in March, Jiang worked as chairman of top energy group the China National Petroleum Company, China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier, as well as one of the world's major oilfield service providers.

The probe against Jiang comes after reports about Chinese leadership’s decision to launch investigations against Zhou Yongkang, a top leader in the previous leadership headed by former President Hu Jintao.

Jiang was stated to be close to 72-year-old Zhou, the ninth ranking member of the all powerful Standing Committee which relinquished power last year. Besides being the national security chief, Zhou was also connected with China's lucrative oil exploration industry for long time.

Bo, who is awaiting verdict in the trial for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power charges, is also regarded as a close associate of Zhou who could be the highest ranking Chinese to face investigation in recent history. Bo reportedly named him during his trial last month. Jiang's name also appeared last year in reports relating to the investigation into a road accident in which the son of Ling Jihua, a top aide to Hu, was killed, media reported.

Liang's son driving a black Ferrari in Beijing met with an accident in March last year. He was found dead at the scene, half-naked. Two young women who were with him in the car were both seriously injured, media said.

Jiang, then CNPC chairman, was questioned by the Party's top disciplinary watchdog over large sums of money – several dozen millions of yuan - that was transferred from CNPC to the families of two women injured in the accident, it said.

(Agencies)

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