Details are scant about the investigation of Railways Minister Liu Zhijun for “serious disciplinary violations” (via Xinhua). But that means corruption. Since becoming minister in 2003, Liu has overseen the multi-billion dollar investment into China’s railway network, notably the push into high-speed lines. He has also been removed from his post as the ministry’s Party secretary (his more senior job). This is the highest profile corruption case since that in 2006 involving Chen Liangyu, Party boss in Shanghai. This is likely to turn into something substantial.
Update: Liu’s brother, Liu Zhixiang, we learn, was convicted on corruption charges in 2006 after being accused of embezzling public public funds and property worth more than $5 million when head of the railways bureau in Wuhan. He was also found guilty of hiring people to beat up a man with whom he was having a dispute.
Further update: Caijing reports that Liu Zhijun is accused of taking a bribe of more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) to help a Shanxi supplier of equipment for the high-speed rail expansion win the bidding on a contract worth several hundred million yuan. We suspect it may not prove to be an isolated incident.