Date
21 October 2017
Disciplinary agencies will vigorously pursue the investigation of officials suspected of involvement in corruption cases. Photo: Reuters
Disciplinary agencies will vigorously pursue the investigation of officials suspected of involvement in corruption cases. Photo: Reuters

POLICY WATCH: Xi seeks to boost power of disciplinary agencies

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, President Xi Jinping {習近平} has harped on his anti-graft fight in every appropriate occasion, reminding Communist Party and government officials that the campaign is essential for the party’s integrity in the long term.

Speaking at the third plenary session of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), Xi stressed that there will be “zero tolerance” for graft at all levels of the government and pledged to seriously punish any official found guilty of corruption. Senior officials should strictly adhere to party discipline, he said.

To pursue the anti-graft campaign, he said disciplinary agencies must have “relatively independent and authoritative supervisory power” at all levels. Authorities should reform the party’s disciplinary inspection system, improve the anti-graft mechanism and enhance the checks and supervision of power, Xi said.

While the central government has looked to the CCDI to take the lead role in the fight against corruption, there is a need to deploy an independent supervision mechanism through the appointment of outsiders to monitor government operations. This is to prevent the development of close ties between party officials and managers in government departments and state-owned enterprises, which could lead to connivance and corruption.

For example, China National Petroleum Corporation, the largest oil and gas producer by output in China, has appointed Liu Yuezhen, the former chief accountant of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, as the oil giant’s chief accountant, replacing former chief accountant Wen Qingshan, who stepped down in December for personal reasons.

Meanwhile, Xi has backed up his words with action, pursuing the investigation of officials suspected of involvement in corruption cases.

He said in 2013, the party leadership struck hard on corruption and made major progress.

Discipline inspection agencies punished about 182,000 officials nationwide during the year, according to CCDI. The commission investigated 31 high-profile officials and eight of them were handed over to prosecutors.

On Jan. 14, Xu Long, a former general manager of a China Mobile subsidiary in Guangdong province, was expelled from the party for “severe discipline violations”, including taking bribes involving huge amounts, according to a statement released by provincial government. Xu would be sent to court and his illegal income seized, it said.

“Preventing the party from being corrupted in its long-term rule of the country is a major political mission — and we must do it right,” said Xi.

– Contact the reporter at [email protected]

CG

 

EJ Insight writer

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