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The investigation into one of China's former senior publicity officials has ignited the Internet with netizens giving a thumbs-up to the country's continuous anti-graft campaign.

Lu Wei, former deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, is being investigated for suspected "severe disciplinary violations," China's top anti-graft watchdog announced Tuesday night. It did not provide details of the violations.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) which Lu used to lead held a meeting on Wednesday to reflect on the lesson left by Lu's severe violations of discipline and vowed to "more voluntarily" align themselves with the CPC Central Committee which has General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core.

Lu was a typical "two-faced person," as he severely deviated from Party principle, contaminated the political ecology of the CAC, ruined the image of the cyberspace administration team and harmed the development of cyberspace, according to the CAC meeting.

Lu Wei, then director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, delivers keynote speech at the China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, September 10, 2015. Photo: Cao Siqi/GT



The probe into Lu's activities makes him the first senior official under the CPC Central Committee to be investigated since the 19th National Congress of the CPCs in October, which experts say sent an unequivocal signal that the Party's campaign to strictly govern itself will never cease.

The announcement of Lu's probe by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has drawn wide public attention, with the news being carried by People's Daily and its social media sites, which was viewed tens of millions of times after it was announced. A search on baidu.com shows the news generated millions of results as of Thursday.

Chinese netizens hailed the CPC's anti-graft campaign and praised the hard work of the discipline inspection officials. Many said that they fully support the CPC to seize the corrupt officials.

"Lu's probe shows the fight against corruption remains grave and complex as Lu had served  the key posts of several key departments in China," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Chongqing Committee, told the Global Times.

Lu, 57, had long worked for the publicity department. He had served as the deputy head of the Xinhua News Agency and then head of the Beijing municipal government's publicity department before becoming the head of CAC in 2013. In 2014, he became the deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Lu's fall has dispelled views from some people that the anti-graft campaign may be weakened or winding down after the 19th CPC National Congress and demonstrates the Party's resolve to fight corruption, Cai Zhiqiang, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing, told the Global Times.

On Thursday, the CCDI announced the investigation of another senior official, Liu Qiang, deputy governor of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, for suspected "severe disciplinary violations."

"The fall of two 'tigers' shortly after the 19th CPC National Congress is faster than it was after the 18th CPC National Congress," Cai said.

Disciplinary authorities have investigated 440 officials at or above the provincial level for corruption over the past five years, including 43 members and alternate members of the CPC Central Committee, according to Yang Xiaodu, deputy secretary of the CCDI.

"To ensure the fulfillment of all the goals we set during the 19th CPC National Congress requires that we must comprehensively strengthen Party discipline," Cai said.

According to Su, the fight against corruption after the 19th CPC National Congress will be more powerful and effective with the establishment of supervisory commissions across the country.