BEIJING – A senior anti-corruption official has warned of challenges facing the supervision of government power but is confident of an improving situation.
There has been an increasing number of corruption cases involving senior officials, especially by those in charge. The amount of illegal money involved in corruption cases has been increasing from a few years ago, Li Xueqin, head of the research division under the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said, in an interview with Xinhua.
More than 60 officials at ministerial and provincial levels were among 600,000 people who have faced punishment for violating Party and government disciplines, since the 17th CPC National Congress held in 2007, according to a CCDI report.
One of the latest corruption convicts was Liu Zhuozhi, former vice chairman of north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region government, who was sentenced to life imprisonment having received more than 8.17 million yuan (1.3 million U.S. dollars) in bribes between 2002 and 2010.
Liu Zhijun, the country’s former railway minister, was investigated for serious disciplinary violations including using his position to seek “huge illegal interests” for a businesswoman, though the exact amount of illegitimate money involved is not available.
“It shows that the government power has not been effectively supervised and regulated,” Li said.
In the next few years, China’s anti-corruption work will focus on extending the supervision system in every aspect of government work and impose tougher punishments on offenders, he said. The anti-corruption agencies will also continue pursuing corrupt officials.
However, Li said the number of cases, investigated by discipline agencies and prosecutors, has gone down since 2004 despite some fluctuations.
Anti-corruption measures will work more effectively in the next few years and the problem will be under control, he said. “I believe through persistent efforts the incidence of corruption cases will remain stable and even reduce.”
The CPC started large-scale efforts to curb corruption among Party and government officials about two decades ago.
In a keynote speech in July, President Hu Jintao warned that corruption was one of the growing dangers that confronts the Party and it has become more important and urgent for the Party to police itself and impose strict disciplines on its members.
In another speech on July 23, Hu listed fighting corruption as one of the efforts that must be continued to promote Party building.
“There is no political party in the world that pays so much attention to anti-corruption as the CPC,” Li said.