The government has not revealed any further details of the charges
against Liu, who has been railway minister since 2003, and he has not
been formally dismissed. A report in the South China Morning Post
suggested the investigation might extend to other officials, noting the
Ministry of Railways (MOR) had removed the leadership page from its
website. The article also quoted an unnamed ministry source as saying,
"there will be some changes in personnel."

The chief of China's customs authority Mr Sheng Guangzu has been
drafted in to oversee the ministry while the investigation takes place.

In a statement issued today on the MOR website, Sheng pledged China
would continue as planned with its massive railway investment
programme, and that construction quality and safety will be paramount
considerations in all projects. However shares in CSR, the country's
largest rolling stock manufacturer fell 4.8% on the Hong Kong stock
exchange this morning, while CNR shares dipped 0.7% in Shanghai amid
fears of a slowdown.

Liu is the most senior official to be investigated for corruption in
China since the former mayor of Shanghai Mr Chen Liangyu, who was
dismissed in 2006 and jailed for 18 years in 2008. According to the
Communist party, 146,517 officials were punished for disciplinary
violations last year, 804 of whom were prosecuted.

Liu's younger brother, Mr Liu Zhijuang, MOR's former Wuhan district
director, was given a suspended death sentence five years ago for his
involvement in a ticketing scam.