Chinese authorities are investigating a former vice governor, making him the latest senior provincial official to be ensnared in a crackdown on corruption that the new leadership hopes will show its determination to root out widespread graft.

The Ministry of Supervision said on its website that Guo Yongxiang was suspected of unspecified "serious disciplinary violations," a vague term that usually refers to corruption.

Guo is chairman of Sichuan's provincial arts and literary federation, but was formerly vice governor of the southwestern province.

China's new leader Xi Jinping has made a crackdown on corruption and extravagant, wasteful work styles a key feature of his first half-year in power.

But observers noted Guo's long association with former security chief Zhou Yongkang, saying the probe could be part of a factional struggle.