China investigates former justice minister

China's anti-corruption watchdog says it is investigating a former justice minister for suspected grave violations of discipline and law.

The Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced on Saturday that it is investigating 66-year-old Fu Zhenghua. It has not revealed details of the suspected violations.

The commission also said on Thursday that Sun Lijun, former deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security, had been expelled from the Communist Party. It said he had accepted large amounts of money and property and led a "decadent lifestyle."

There was once the persistent view that a former member of the Chinese leadership, Zhou Yongkang, had been conspiring with a department that controls police and justice to overthrow President Xi Jinping's leadership.

Zhou once had considerable clout in the department, but was later disgraced.

Observers say Xi's leadership is trying to tighten its grip on power by cracking down on the department ahead of the Communist Party National Congress in the fall of next year. Xi is apparently seeking an unprecedented third term as the party's general secretary.