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PetroChina former vice-chairman charged with bribery

Liao Yongyuan (C), Vice Chairman of PetroChina, speaks to colleagues during a visit to a PetroChina facility in Daqing, Heilongjiang province July 28, 2006 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Liao Yongyuan (centre) worked for more than 30 years at PetroChina's parent company

The former vice-chairman of China's biggest state-owned oil and gas producer, PetroChina, is being charged with bribery and other crimes.

It comes amid a sweeping government-led crackdown on corruption.

Liao Yongyuan was the company's second-highest ranking official and is alleged to have taken "enormous" bribes and abused his position to advance others.

The former chairman of both companies, Jiang Jiemin, and other executives have also faced prosecution since 2013.

Mr Liao has also been expelled from the Communist Party, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced.

"Liao Yongyuan was a senior party official, and seriously violated the party's political rules and the organisation's discipline," a statement on its website said.

Mr Liao, who worked at the parent company China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for 30 years, was appointed vice-chairman of PetroChina in May 2014.

He stepped down from all of his posts in March.

Mr Liao is the latest in a series of high-profile government, military or business figures to be targeted in a corruption probe.

This includes former China security chief Zhou Yongkang, who was jailed for life last week after being found guilty of a range of crimes, including bribery.

President Xi Jinping, who initiated the graft crackdown three years ago, has described corruption as a major threat to the very survival of the ruling Communist Party.

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