Graft crackdown results reflect resolve
2018-03-19, ZHANG YAN

As part of the sweeping campaign against corruption since late 2012, 120 former officials at or above vice-ministerial level were investigated for graft in the past five years, compared with 30 in the previous five years, according to the top procuratorate.

A total of 254,419 officials were investigated for duty-related offenses, such as bribery or dereliction of duty, from 2013 to 2017, up by 16.4 percent compared with 2008 to 2012, Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, said in a work report to the top legislature on March 9.

National lawmakers said the achievement reflects the central leadership’s strong determination to eradicate corruption, and they are expecting that ongoing reform of the national supervision system will further consolidate anti-corruption efforts. 

Among the “tigers” felled by the anti-graft campaign were Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee; Sun Zhengcai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the CPC; and Ling Jihua and Su Rong, former vice-chairs of China’s top political advisory body, Cao said.

The court system has concluded graft cases involving 101 former officials at or above vice-ministerial level in the past five years, according to the Work Report of the Supreme People’s Court delivered by Chief Justice Zhou Qiang to the National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 9.

“We’ve maintained high pressure on graft and improved our judicial mechanism for handling job-related crimes,” he said.

Prosecutors have also paid more attention to crimes related to offering bribes and accused 37,277 people of “hunting officials” — a term used to describe those who try to bribe officials. The number is up by 87 percent, Cao said.

Corruption at lower levels also has been resolutely targeted, as 62,715 corrupt grassroots officials were charged in the past five years, such as those in charge of local agriculture, housing demolitions, social welfare and poverty alleviation, he said.

“It’s not an easy task, and I believe the campaign faced resistance in the beginning, but it carried on and has achieved impressive results,” said Yang Fan, an NPC deputy from Chongqing in Southwest China.

Cao said authorities this year will continue working hard with supervision commissions at all levels to continue anti-graft work.

China is witnessing a fundamental change in the anti-corruption system as the NPC reviewed the country’s first law on supervision on March 13, which aims to give a legal footing to supervisory commissions and detail how the commissions work, as well as their duties and obligations.

The law will bring all public officers, including civil servants and those working for public schools and medical institutes, under supervision, which means the fight against corruption will cover every public corner, said Ma Huaide, vice-president of the China University of Political Science and Law. 

Sharing offices and staff with disciplinary inspectors of the CPC, these supervisory commissions incorporate existing supervisory, corruption prevention and control agencies within governments and procuratorates to target graft more efficiently and effectively, Ma said.

Ding Zhaomin, an NPC deputy from Northeast China’s Jilin province, said he believes the reform will better supervise those exercising public power and ensure the healthy development of Chinese society.

Chief Justice Zhou Qiang also said on March 9 that courts have strengthened efforts against wrongful convictions in the past five years, with the aim of better protecting human rights and upholding justice.

Courts around the country overturned 6,747 criminal cases between 2013 and 2017, and pronounced 4,874 defendants “not guilty” over the period, he said.


Tan Yingzi contributed to this story.

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