Anti-graft campaign results in progress

Updated: 2013-01-10 03:06

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

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The Party's disciplinary authorities punished more than 160,000 people last year, a 12.5 percent rise from 2011.

Anti-graft investigators also managed to recover 7.83 billion yuan ($1.24 billion).

One of the highest-profile cases involved Bo Xilai, a former member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. The case has been transferred to judicial organs, according to the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Nearly 4,700 of those punished were higher than county-level officials. Of these, more than 960 were transferred to judicial authorities, commission spokesman Cui Shaopeng said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Cui encouraged whistle-blowing, saying that the authorities will vigorously pursue cases where the names of culprits are revealed.

A number of senior officials fell from grace. Cases involving Liu Zhijun, former minister of railways, Huang Sheng, former vice-governor of Shandong province, and Tian Xueren, former vice-governor of Jilin province, have been transferred to judicial organs, according to Cui.

Li Chuncheng, the former deputy Party chief of Sichuan province, and Zhou Zhenhong, head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, are still under investigation by the commission, Cui said.

Low-level officials were also charged in cases of corruption involving large amounts of money, Cui said.

Zheng Niansheng, an official from a subdistrict office of Foshan city in Guangdong province, received a suspended death sentence in July 2012. He was convicted of taking bribes of 25.1 million yuan and misappropriating 100 million yuan of public funds.

Last year, more than 30,000 people were punished for accepting bribes and embezzlement, and more than 42,000 were punished for dereliction of duty, Cui said.

Anti-graft authorities filed more than 155,000 cases concerning disciplinary violations, of which 41.8 percent were originally exposed through letters, e-mails and phone calls.

Allegations of corruption made through the Internet were thoroughly investigated. Yang Dacai, former head of the work safety administration of Shaanxi province, was removed from his post after netizens discovered he had a fondness for expensive watches that cost far more than his salary.

It's the first time that the Party's top anti-corruption body held a news conference broadcast live on TV.

Huang Xiaowei, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Supervision, said at the conference that 427 cases of forced demolition were probed by the government's anti-graft agencies and 437 people were punished.

More than 11,200 cases concerning food safety were investigated, with punishment handed out to 8,428 people.

Over 3,000 people were punished in more than 5,000 cases involving drug safety, Huang said.

A total of 102 people, including seven prefecture-level officials and 42 county-level officials, were punished following investigations into six major work safety accidents last year.

The ministry attached great importance to probing corruption cases related to everyday life, including cases of selling inferior fertilizer to farmers, unfairly distributing affordable housing and illegally fining truck drivers, Huang said.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said the Party's disciplinary authorities have become more efficient in probing corruption cases.

"There is an online phrase — 'killed within a second' — that describes those officials investigated and sacked shortly after being exposed of corruption on the micro blog," he said. "The Party's disciplinary authorities have responded more quickly toward online allegations."

Jiang said that the Party and government should increase supervision through different channels, including people's congresses, online whistle-blowing and the media.

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