Caging big corrupt ‘tigers’
China’s anti-corruption campaign reached a high point when Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and former security chief, was placed under investigation. Zhou is the biggest “tiger” to be entrapped in the crackdown on corruption and also the most senior-level official to be investigated for “serious disciplinary violations” in the past three decades.
Zhou’s downfall reflects the national leadership’s resolve to honor its promise of targeting both “flies and tigers” (small and big corrupt officials) in the anti-corruption campaign.
Top leader Xi Jinping has launched a massive campaign against corruption and vowed to target “flies and tigers” alike regardless of their position, reflecting his determination to root out corruption.
The crackdown started with a ban on extravagance by officials — from banquets to year-end gifts — and quickly expanded to bringing to book corrupt high-ranking officials who had formed a fiefdom of their own.
Thirty-odd leaders of vice-ministerial level or above have been arrested. Among the “tigers” that have been caged are Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, Su Rong, a former vice-chairman of China’s top political advisory body, and Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The fast pace of the crackdown shows that the Party will not spare corrupt officials no matter how senior they are.