China has sacked the head of its state assets regulator, former top energy executive Jiang Jiemin, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, two days after the agency reported Jiang was the subject of a corruption probe.

Jiang is "suspected of serious discipline violations", state media said on Sunday, shorthand the government generally uses to describe corruption.

Jiang was removed from office as head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council, it said.

The inquiry into Jiang was only announced on Sunday, and reports said it  was focusing on China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the giant state-owned oil company he headed before being promoted to the SASAC post earlier this year.

Xi Jinping - who took office as party chief last November and as president  in March - has warned corruption could destroy the party and has threatened to  expose high-ranking officials, or "tigers", along with low-level "flies".

Jiang was the first member of the Communist Party's current 205-person Central Committee to face investigation, state-run media said.

Another former top CNPC official, Zhou Yongkang - who went on to become China's security tsar and a member of its highest body, the Politburo Standing Committee - will also face a corruption inquiry, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported last week.

Source: Agencies