Another senior official within the Ministry of Railways has been removed from his job amid a probe into possible corruption.
Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer at the Ministry of Railways, was suspended from his post on Monday so he can be investigated.
Zhang Shuguang was director of transportation bureau and deputy chief engineer at the Ministry of Railways. [Photo/China Daily]
Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday that Zhang was being investigated by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection for an alleged "severe violation of discipline".
It was the latest development in a scandal that has seen growing speculation about how many railway officials may end up being investigated following the removal of Liu Zhijun, the former minister of railways. He was dismissed as the top man at the ministry on Feb 12 for an alleged "severe violation of discipline".
Fifty-five-year-old Zhang is believed to have been one of Liu's right-hand men.
Zhang, who was also director of the ministry's transportation bureau, was a supporter of Liu's call to realize "leapfrog development" by building a high-speed rail network. The plans called for a network to be built extending 16,000 km by 2015 and for China to build state-of-the-art bullet trains.
Media reports earlier quoted Zhang as having said he was most proud of his success in undercutting foreign companies offering high-speed train technology.
He also often told reporters that his bargaining techniques, which he said involved using his wit and tactics, had been included in a textbook used by the United States' Stanford University.
Like Liu, Zhang started his career in the railway sector and worked his way up from the bottom.
Before he was named head of the ministry's transportation bureau, he was promoted by Liu to posts including deputy head of the Beijing railway bureau and deputy director of the equipment department under the transportation bureau.
Born in Liyang, Jiangsu province, Zhang graduated from Lanzhou Jiaotong University with a major in vehicle engineering in 1982. He holds the title of adjunct professor at Zhejiang University, Beijing Jiaotong University and Southwest Jiaotong University.
A report by caing.com said Zhang lives alone in Beijing because both his wife and daughter live in the US.
The fact that two senior railway officials are being investigated for alleged corruption has led to concerns about whether China's high-speed railway network will be affected.
Yang Hao, a professor on railways at Beijing Jiaotong University, said on Tuesday that the ongoing anti-graft probe will not interfere with the pace of construction of the country's high-speed railways, because "it is part of China's comprehensive transport system" and not just the work of the railways ministry.