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China’s Anti-Graft Campaign: 527,000 People Punished in 2017

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China Power

China’s Anti-Graft Campaign: 527,000 People Punished in 2017

Xi Jinping continues to focus on loyalty above honesty, however.

China’s Anti-Graft Campaign: 527,000 People Punished in 2017
Credit: Wikicommons/VOA

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) — the highest internal-control institution of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — is currently holding its second plenary session from January 11 to 13. During the session, the CCDI, which has been overseeing the far-reaching anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping since 2012, announced that a total of 527,000 people were published in 2017.

According to the announcement, in 2017, the CCDI received 2.73 million reports on corruption nationwide, dealt with 1.25 million cases, and punished a total of 527,000 people.

Among the 527,000 people, 58 were officials at the provincial and ministerial level or higher, about 3,300 were bureau-level, 21,000 county-level, 78,000 town-level, 97,000 ordinary cadres and the rest were from village or enterprises. And the punishments included warnings, demotion, expulsion from the Party, and removal from office.

The CCDI also revealed that about 48,000 officials were investigated or prosecuted for serious violations of discipline and suspected criminal activity.

Presiding over the CCDI session on January 11, Xi Jinping, who also holds the position of general secretary of the CCP Central Committee, vowed to continue the anti-graft campaign with more efforts. He said:

All-round efforts should see the Party’s political building enhanced, its theory strengthened, its organizations consolidated, its conduct improved, and its discipline enforced, with institution building incorporated into every aspect of Party building… Senior Party members should be subject to higher and more rigorous standards and placed under tighter scrutiny, though all Party members should follow the rules.

It’s worth noting that rather than urging the CCP officials to stay clean and honest, Xi paid much more attention to the importance of being loyal. He demanded that all officials should remain loyal to the Party “at any time, and under any circumstance” and “always be reliable, align themselves to the Party’s central leadership in thinking and deeds, follow the Party’s instructions and fulfill their responsibilities.”

Wang Qishan, who stepped down from the position of anti-graft chief last year, published a more than 5,000 word article in China’s state newspaper People’s Daily on November 11, 2017. In the article, Wang made it clear that what the CCDI focused most on was “political corruption” rather than other kinds, since “political corruption is the biggest corruption.”

He elaborated in the article that there are actually two kinds of “political corruption”: one is when an interest group attempts to steal Party and state power; the other is when a faction tries to undermine the Party’s unity.

Wang’s article seemed to have explained why Xi repeatedly emphasized loyalty in the latest CCDI session.

To demonstrate that the anti-corruption campaign has been extremely popular in China, the state news agency Xinhua claimed in multiple recent articles that “a recent public opinion poll showed that 93.9 percent of those surveyed in 2017 were satisfied with the Party’s anti-graft work, up from 2012’s 75 percent,” without specifying who conducted the poll.