Zhang Yang, a member of the Central Military Commission, a top military leadership body, committed suicide at his home in Beijing, authorities said.
Zhang was being investigated for corruption as part of a widespread anti-graft campaign launched by President Xi Jinping.
Authorities were probing alleged links between Zhang and two top generals who were jailed for corruption.
Zhang allegedly had ties with Guo Boxiong, who in July 2016 received a life sentence for graft, and with Xu Caihou, a former vice chairman of the commission who died of cancer in March 2015 while on trial.
A commentary in the military publication PLA Daily slammed Zhang.
“This former general with massive power has finished himself in this shameless way,” the commentary said.
“Zhang Yang has avoided punishment by the party discipline and the nation’s law by resorting to suicide.
“It is an extremely terrible move.”
The government said no fewer than 1.3 million officials have been punished for corruption since Xi came to power in 2012.
The campaign has felled both the party’s high-level “tigers” and “flies” in lower bureaucratic ranks.
Xi has called for restructuring the military, a process that critics say has included removing potential opponents and placing allies in leading positions.(dpa/NAN)