The head of China’s energy administration has been placed under investigation by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the latest top official ensnared in the Communist Party’s campaign against graft.

Nur Bekri, an ethnic Uighur, had worked his way up in his native Xinjiang, eventually rising to deputy party secretary and government chairman in the far western region, before receiving the post at the energy administration in 2014.

Nur Bekri
Nur Bekri attends the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region open session as part of the National People’s Congress (NPC) events in Beijing. Photo: AFP/Wang Zhao.

China’s anti-graft agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said on Friday that Bekri was under investigation for “serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and laws,” a euphemism that usually means corruption.

Bekri also held the post of deputy head of China’s state planner, making him one of the highest-ranking Uighur officials.

Urumqi Xinjiang police May 2014
Police in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Photo: Wikicommons.

The mostly Muslim Uighur minority populates the restive Xinjiang region, where it faces a draconian crackdown in the name of combating terrorism and separatism.

Up to a million minorities are believed to be held in extrajudicial re-education camps in Xinjiang, rights groups say.

The energy industry has been the target of President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft crackdown, with several top officials at China’s state-owned oil companies coming under investigation in recent years.

Xi has presided over the much-publicised anti-corruption campaign since coming to power in 2012, which some have compared to a political purge.

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