30 June 2014
Last updated at 12:25
Rumours about the investigation into Gen Xu Caihou had circulated for months
One of China’s most senior military officials has been accused of accepting bribes and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.
Gen Xu Caihou was once a member of China’s elite decision-making body, the Politburo. He will now be handed over to prosecutors for a court martial.
He is believed to have been held under house arrest for several months.
Analysts say this could be the biggest military scandal China has seen for many years.
Xinhua reported that President Xi Jinping had presided over a Politburo meeting about military discipline and approved the decision to expel Gen Xu and hand him over to military prosecutors.
Rumours about the investigation into Gen Xu had circulated for months. Many believed poor health – he is reported to have been treated for cancer – would save him from prosecution.
But this move is being presented in state media as part of the government’s battle against corruption.
Two other high profile figures were also expelled from the Communist Party for corruption on Monday – Jiang Jiemin, the former head of the state asset regulator, and Wang Yongchun, the deputy head of the state energy giant China National Petroleum Company (CNPC).
Tens of thousands of officials have been arrested since Mr Xi began an anti-corruption campaign in 2012.
The president has warned that the Communist Party’s very survival is threatened by corruption and has vowed to root out every corrupt official, whether “tigers” or “flies”.