PLA fights corruption

Updated: 2014-06-18 17:11


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Just 370 years ago, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) collapsed amid the chaos of war. There were many reasons, but one of the most important must be the spread of corruption into every corner of the empire, to which the army was no exception. Historical records show that even the post of general could be bought.

The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that followed did not learn from these bloody lessons, becoming in its later decades as corrupt as their predecessors. They purchased the world’s best warships, cannons and guns from the West, only to lose one war after another, which finally dragged the dynasty to its doom

History tells us that corruption is a fatal disease to any military force and the People’s Liberation Army of China is determined to root it out, says an article in PLA Daily website.

Like any organization involving humans, the PLA cannot be 100 percent immune to corruption; but it is determined to investigate every case and punish anybody found to be involved in corruption, no matter what his position.

Since it was founded, the PLA has always taken a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption. According to a regulation issued in the 1930s, an officer would be sentenced to death for embezzling just small amount or cheating soldiers out of their pay. On its path toward victory, there were many examples of senior officers receiving their deserved penalty for corruption. That is why John Leighton Stuart, then US diplomat to China, said in 1949 that it was clean hands that helped the PLA defeat the Kuomintang who were better equipped.

The anti-graft resolve continued in the peaceful years after 1949.

Since the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2012, the new leadership has established and improved a series of regulations for that purpose. With senior officers such as Gu Junshan being investigated and punished, the PLA has further purified itself and won the confidence and trust of the people.

The battle against corruption will be long and difficult, but the PLA is confident of final success. Only by rooting out corruption can the PLA truly be an efficient army capable of defending the nation and the people.