China plans to prosecute the former editor of the official Communist Party newspaper in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, saying he was corrupt and out of step with government policy.

The party's official watchdog body said in a note on its website that Zhao Xinwei was guilty of serious violations of discipline, which usually means corruption.

Unusually, however, it also accused Zhao of failing to toe the party line on the fight against separatism, terrorism, religion, extremism and other sensitive issues. No details were given and it wasn't clear whether Zhao was accused of being too harsh or not harsh enough.

Xinjiang has been under heavy security since 2009 riots that pitted members of the region's native Muslim Uighur (WEE-gur) population against migrants from other parts of China.