China’s top anti-graft body on Thursday said that at least 280 ministerial or provincial rank officials have been investigated for corruption since 2012, when President Xi Jinping was elected as the Communist Party of China (CPC) head.
Xinhua news agency reported that 43 members and alternate members of the powerful CPC Central Committee, as well as nine members of the anti-graft body – the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) – have been investigated
CCDI deputy secretary Yang Xiaodu said that the fight against corruption would continue and that the key to ending misconduct was the “resolve of the leadership”.
“The CCDI will over the next five years focus inspections on party officials who have refused to refrain from misconduct, those with complaints from the public, and officials in important positions with potential for promotion,” he said.
The last five years have seen fall of several senior party leaders, including two former party secretaries of Chongqing province — Bo Xilai and Sun Zhengcai.
Both leaders have since been expelled from the CPC.
Former national security chief, Zhou Yongkang and Su Rong, former vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, have also faced punishment.
“No matter what their levels, officials involved in corruption will stand trial and receive judgment according to the law,” said Yang.
The CCDI said that 27 delegates elected to the 19th National Congress (NC) were found to be ineligible following additional checks on their “political stance and ethical integrity”.
Since 2012, the commission has carried out 12 “rounds of inspection” into 277 party organisations and bodies.
“The inspections acted as a sharp sword for supervision within the party, leading to more than 60 per cent of the valuable clues we received about potential corruption,” Xinhua quoted Li Wanjun, a bureau-level inspector with the CCDI’s central inspection team, as saying. Xi had in his address to the NC — the party’s highest decision-making body — vowed to intensify his campaign to root out corruption within the party on Wednesday.
Xi’s anti-corruption drive includes “tigers” or senior party officials and junior party members or “flies”.
He had termed corruption “the greatest threat” to the party in his speech.
“We must remain as firm as a rock in our resolve to build on the overwhelming momentum to secure a sweeping victory,” he said.
According to government data, more than 1.4 million CPC members or officials have been punishment over the last five years.
The CCDI will be also be restructured during the 19th NC. Its head Wang Qishan, who is considered Xi’s close ally and has attained the retirement age, may have to step down.