Officials have removed railway minister Liu Zhijun from his post as the ministry’s Communist Party secretary and placed him under investigation for "severe disciplinary violations," the Financial Times reported, citing state media. Media reports have given no indication of why Liu was removed from the post by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, but criminal charges are expected to be brought forth shortly. Liu is the highest-ranking Chinese official to be brought under investigation since Shanghai Communist Party head Chen Liangyu was dismissed and later convicted of corruption in 2006. Liu’s dismissal is likely to bring the country’s railway ministry – historically one of the most independent-minded of government organs – and its large high-speed rail projects under more scrutiny.
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