Graft busters dis­ci­pline 210,000

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

About 210,000 peo­ple have been dis­ci­plined by anti-graft agen­cies across the coun­try in the first half of this year, an in­crease of nearly 30 per­cent over the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to China’s top graft-buster.

The Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, the coun­try’s top anti-cor­rup­tion body, pub­lished the re­sults of dis­ci­plinary ef­forts in the first half of 2017 on Thurs­day.

Of those pun­ished, 38 of­fi­cials were at the pro­vin­cial level — slightly fewer than the 41 pun­ished in the same pe­riod last year.

The anti-graft ef­forts have achieved re­mark­able re­sults since late 2012, when a na­tion­wide fight against cor­rup­tion be­gan, said Zhuang Deshui, deputy head of the Re­search Cen­ter for Gov­ern­ment In­tegrity-Build­ing at Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity.

The re­sults show that the anti-graft sys­tem has worked and that no cor­rupt be­hav­ior es­capes the no­tice of the au­thor­i­ties, Zhuang said, adding that the re­lent­less ef­fort and a zero-tol­er­ance stance on pun­ish­ing cor­rupt be­hav­ior have been val­i­dated.

Ac­cord­ing to an­nounce­ments from courts at all lev­els, more than 30 of­fi­cials at or above pro­vin­cial level were con­victed in the first half of this year, ex­ceed­ing the to­tal num­ber con­victed in 2016.

Among them, Zhao Lip­ing, a former se­nior po­lit­i­cal ad­viser in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, was ex­e­cuted in May for homi­cide, firearms pos­ses­sion and tak­ing bribes. He be­came the first gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial at the pro­vin­cial level to be ex­e­cuted since the big anti-graft push be­gan.

Zhuang said the work of go­ing af­ter pow­er­ful “tigers” (se­nior of­fi­cials) as well as lowly “flies” (grass­roots gov­ern­ment func­tionar­ies) has sped up. Putting the tigers into “cages” is a pri­or­ity for law en­force­ment bod­ies, he said; there­fore the sen­tences were com­par­a­tively in­tense in the first half of the year.

As “tigers” are sen­tenced to jail, lowly func­tionar­ies are also forced to face the mu­sic.

Ac­cord­ing to the CCDI’s state­ment on Thurs­day, 129,000 peo­ple pun­ished in the first half of this year were at the vil­lage level or worked in com­pa­nies and other non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Anti-graft agen­cies na­tion­wide have also re­ported more than 320 cases in which lower gov­ern­ment func­tionar­ies were held ac­count­able for mis­con­duct or dere­lic­tion of duty.

All of this is the re­sult of a Com­mu­nist Party of China or­di­nance on the ac­count­abil­ity of Party mem­bers that took ef­fect a year ago, said Du Zhizhou, deputy head of the Re­search and Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter of Gov­ern­ment In­tegrity at Bei­hang Uni­ver­sity in Bei­jing. Re­spon­si­bil­ity comes with pub­lic power, Du said.

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