70,000 officials in corruption probe
More than 70,000 officials at or above the county-head level have been investigated for suspected corruption since the 18th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2012, according to the Party’s top anti-graft body.
The anti-graft campaign continues to gain momentum and to win applause from the public, according to a statement on the website of the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Five years ago, China’s new leadership launched a high-profile, anti-corruption campaign, which has led to the downfall of a number of high-level officials, known as “tigers,” and lower-level “flies” who serve at the grassroots level.
Among the tigers felled in the campaign were Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee; Bo Xilai, former Party chief of Chongqing Municipality; Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, both former generals and vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission; as well as Ling Jihua and Su Rong, former vice chairmen of China’s top political advisory body.
The CCDI said yesterday that around 1.34 million grassroots-level Party officials around the country had also been punished from the time of the 18th CPC National Congress to the end of June. These officials served at the township-level or lower, including 648,000 village officials.
As of this August, the CCDI had dealt with 270 problems in 21 county-level administrative regions, carrying out several rounds of supervision on poverty-alleviation work.
The CCDI has made public 33 typical cases of corruption in poverty relief work.
The CCDI also said it had conducted inspection and supervision of 155,000 Party organizations in the past five years, transferring 65,000 pieces of evidence about problems involving officials for further investigation.
The CPC, the world’s largest ruling Party, released an “eight-point” rule on austerity in late 2012 to reduce undesirable work practices.
The CCDI now has a monthly reporting system on the implementation of the rules within provincial-level governments, central Party and governmental agencies, centrally administered state-owned enterprises and central financial institutions.
China also worked with the international community to hunt corruption suspects who had fled overseas via the “Sky Net” manhunt and other operations.
By the end of August, 3,339 fugitives were captured from more than 90 countries and regions, with 628 of them being former officials. About 9.36 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) was recovered, the CCDI said.
Among the top-100 fugitives listed on Interpol red notices, 46 have been arrested, it said.
Amid high pressure, the number of corrupt officials who fled overseas saw a drastic decrease in 2016.
A total of 19 fugitive suspects fled China last year, compared with 31 in 2015 and 101 in 2014.
In the past five years, the CPC Central Committee has tirelessly addressed si feng, or “the four forms of decadence” — formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.
By the end of 2016, 155,300 violations against the eight-point code on frugality and maintaining close links with the masses had been investigated.
Among the violations, 78.2 percent took place in 2013 and 2014, 15.1 percent took place in 2015, and 6.7 percent in 2016, indicating marked decreases each year.
Moreover, the CCDI has shown that it is serious about tackling corruption within its own ranks, which it refers to as “darkness hiding beneath the light.”
By the end of last year, 17 disciplinary officials had been investigated and 7,900 others had been punished, it said.
A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics showed 92.9 percent of people were satisfied with the anti-corruption campaigns in 2016, 17.9 percentage points higher than in 2012.