2 lakh Communist Party members punished for corruption in China
Nearly 200,000 members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have been punished for corruption since 2013, including on charges of misusing official funds for lavish meals with free-flowing alcohol and taking public vehicles on personal rides, state media reported on Sunday.
The list of violations included hosting extravagant weddings and funerals and handing out expensive gifts.
“A total of 196,947 Party and government staff had been punished for violating austerity rules since late 2012,” the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said, sharing the new statistics.
“The disciplined people were involved in more than 146,400 cases in the past four years, about a quarter of which involved use of public vehicles and eating and drinking with public funds,” the official news agency Xinhua quoted the CCDI as saying.
The members punished were found to be violating the “eight-point rule” initiated by President Xi Jinping in December 2012 to curb CPC members’ working styles and extravagance.
The rules were issued in December 2012 amid much publicity and set the tone for Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.
State media had then reported that the rules were issued by the CPC Central Committee’s political bureau to “reduce bureaucracy, extravagance and undesirable work practices of party members”.
One of the rules stated that leaders must “cut extravagance and do away with welcome banners, red carpets, floral arrangements and grand receptions for official visits”.
Another stipulated that “there should be fewer traffic controls when leaders travel by car to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public”.
Even the state-controlled media was brought under the ambit of the rules in the CPC issuing guidelines.
“The media should consider the need, news value, and social impact of reporting on members of the Political Bureau, their work and their activities — the amount of time spent on such news items should be reduced and reports should be minimised in scope,” it said.
Since 2012, the rules have been updated to include, for example, a ban on CPC members joining a gold club.
The rules have now been in place for four years and, as the new numbers suggest, many have been punished for flouting them. Skepticism, however, remains.
At over 88 million, the sheer number of CPC members makes the task of implementing the rules a difficult task. Questions also remain on the supervision of senior CPC leaders and officials considered close to them.