China Southern Air Says Chairman Si Xian Min Resigned Amid Probe

  • Si was under investigation for 'serious' discipline violations
  • Airline says vice chairman to take over chairman's duties

China Southern Airlines Co. Chairman Si Xian Min resigned as chief of Asia’s largest carrier, two months after the Communist Party said he’s under investigation for "serious" discipline violations, a phrase used often to refer to corruption or bribery.

Si resigned as board chairman, executive director and from the strategic decision-making and nomination committees, the Guangzhou-based carrier said in a statement Friday. He was suspected of having "severely violated the rules," the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a short statement Nov. 4. The carrier’s board also said it approved Nov. 5 the vice chairman taking over the chairman’s duties.

"Si Xian Min confirms that he has no disagreement in any respect with the board and the company, and there is no matter relating to his resignation that should be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company," the airline said in the statement.

The Communist Party has intensified efforts to root out corruption since Chinese President Xi Jinping became general secretary in late 2012. The crackdown has targeted both government officials and corporate executives. Si is the highest ranking official to be ensnared in a probe of the carrier, Asia’s largest by passengers carried and fleet size.

The airline first announced in late 2014 that several officials were removed from their positions because of an investigation. Since then, the company also said it removed an executive vice president who was being investigated on suspicion of bribery.

— With assistance by Clement Tan

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