Fang Fenghui, one of the military's highest-ranking officers, has been placed under investigation by prosecutors, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Fang, a general and former chief of the Central Military Commission's Joint Staff Department, has been handed over to military prosecutors for suspected crimes of offering and taking bribes, the report said, without more details.
This announcement ended wide speculation about Fang's whereabouts since Aug 21 when he appeared in public for the last time. Five days later, the military said General Li Zuocheng had replaced Fang as PLA chief of staff.
Fang, 66, a native of Shaanxi province, enlisted in the People's Liberation Army Ground Force in 1968 and moved up through the ranks over more than 30 years at multiple units in northwestern China. In 2003, he became chief of staff of the former Guangzhou Military Command and about four years later became commander of the former Beijing Military Command, where he organized the National Day parade in Beijing in 2009.
In late 2012, he was named chief of the former General Staff Headquarters and soon was promoted to a member of the Central Military Commission. In early 2016, he became chief of the commission's Joint Staff Department.
Fang was also member of the 17th and 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Six weeks ago, Fang's colleague in the Central Military Commission and former head of the commission's Political Work Department, General Zhang Yang, 66, committed suicide at his Beijing home amid a probe into his involvement in bribery, an official release said.
In the past five years, a sweeping anti-corruption campaign has brought down over 100 officers at the rank of major general or higher, including Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, both former vice-chairmen of the CMC, the military's disciplinary watchdog said.