China’s state media hails President Xi’s anti-corruption drive as ‘remarkable’
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China’s state media hails President Xi’s anti-corruption drive as ‘remarkable’

China’s state media has reported that action has been taken against more than 1.4 million Communist Party workers or officials under President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive.

world Updated: Oct 10, 2017 22:11 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,anti-corruption campaign,President Xi Jinping
File photo taken on September 13, 2017 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah (not seen). Xi, 64, is expected to be given a second five-year term as the powerful general secretary of the Communist Party at its 19th Congress on October 18.(AFP)

A week before the Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), during which President Xi Jinping is expected to strengthen his enormous powers, his signature anti-corruption campaign has been hailed as remarkable and unfaltering.

The state media on Tuesday released the latest numbers for party workers and officials who have been sacked, jailed or punished under the drive, launched soon after Xi took over in 2012 to target both “tigers” and “flies” – they added up to more than 1.4 million.

“Disciplinary watchdogs nationwide have...punished more than 1.4 million party members or officials since 2012,” said a glowing report by the official Xinhua news agency.

“In five years, more than 280 centrally administered officials have been investigated by the CCDI, at least 120 of whom have been transferred to judicial authorities,” the report said. It didn’t mention the status of the remaining 160.

The latest numbers were released at the end of a plenary session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) — the CPC’s top disciplinary body.

The names of the top “tigers” were highlighted in the Xinhua commentary.

Last month, the CCDI announced the expulsion of a rising star of the CPC, Sun Zhengcai, who was the chief of the Chongqing municipal committee.

“In the fight against all corruption from the low-level ‘flies’ to the high-ranking ‘tigers’, Sun joins several other senior party officials who have been punished for discipline violation including Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and Ling Jihua,” the report said.

The names mentioned are a mix of top political leaders, senior military officials and an aide of former president Hu Jintao.

The campaign also adopted flashy names for its operations abroad to capture and bring home accused who had fled China: “Sky Net” and “Fox Hunt”.

“By the end of August, 3,339 fugitives were captured from more than 90 countries and regions, with 628 of them being former officials. About 9.36 billion yuan (around 1.41 billion US dollars) was recovered,” the Xinhua commentary said.

It added that with more than 89 million CPC members, “no one can turn a blind eye to political regulations and rules”.

“The line drawn by party discipline can never be crossed. Although remarkable results have been achieved, the party will continue the fight and root out the scourge that attempts to threaten its survival,” the commentary said.

“China's anti-corruption drive has played an essential role in consolidating the country's political stability and has boosted people's confidence in sustainable social and economic development,” Jiang Laiyong, a senior researcher at the China Anti-Corruption Research Centre at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the China Daily.

The “high level” of anti-graft pressure is expected to last even though a new CCDI is expected to be elected at the 19th CPC National Congress.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 17:47 IST