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China investigates senior spy chief on graft charges

[BEIJING] China is investigating Ma Jian, one of its top spy chiefs, for corruption, the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog said on Friday, the latest senior official felled by President Xi Jinping's ever-widening crackdown on graft.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Ma, a vice minister at China's Ministry of State Security, is under investigation on "suspicion of serious violations of the law".

In China, "serious violations of the law" usually connotes graft.

The agency did not give further details. It is unclear what triggered the investigation of Ma, who is said to have headed China's counter-espionage programmes.

Xi has vowed to target high-ranking "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" in his anti-corruption drive, which has taken down a slew of high-ranking officials, including former domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang.