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Communist Party removes senior Sichuan official as part of China's new anti-corruption drive

An anti-corruption drive by China's newly installed leadership is claiming its highest-level victim with the firing of a senior provincial official.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday that Li Chuncheng is being removed as deputy Communist Party secretary of Sichuan province and as a non-voting member of the policy-setting Central Committee. The report cites an unnamed official from the party's personnel office and says Li is being fired for unspecified disciplinary violations.

Li's removal comes less than a month after the new leadership took office calling the stanching of widespread corruption an urgent matter. In the weeks since, scandals made public have led to the downfall of several low level officials, though none as senior as Li. State media have reported that Li is suspected of corruption.