CCDI meet to discuss anti-graft plan for 2015

By Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-13 0:43:30

Larger NPC role, new graft law expected

The fifth plenary session of the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) started Monday in Beijing.

Wang Qishan, secretary of the CCDI, reported on the work of the Party's disciplinary organ.

The three-day meeting, held in the middle of the CCDI's current five-year term under Wang, is expected to summarize anti-graft progress in the last two years and to map out plans for 2015.

Observers believe that the current session will discuss how to strengthen the National People's Congress's (NPC) supervisory role. Anti-graft efforts in 2015 will continue with as much vigor as in 2014 and a new anti-corruption law may be introduced this year, they said.

According to previous media reports, the CCDI usually holds eight plenary sessions in each five-year term. The previous four plenary sessions of the CCDI dealt with the problem of personnel arrangement and laid down guidelines for the anti-graft campaign of the last two years.

The importance of the CCDI has grown within the Communist Party of China (CPC) after Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a high-profile anti-corruption campaign in 2012.

"The CCDI in the past often talked about its determination to crack down on both 'tigers and flies.' This time it will sum up its achievements and analyze some different voices on the anti-graft fight," Wang Yukai, professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times.

As of January 7, 2015, cases involving 68 high-level officials are under investigation or have been closed, Xinhua reported.

The case of Zhou Yongkang, China's former security chief, has been transferred to judicial organs and Ling Jihua, a former national political advisor, has been placed under investigation. The two are among the highest-ranking officials to fall since 2012.

As the campaign has progressed, more problems inside governments and the CPC have been revealed, unveiling a number of incidents involving vested interests, Wang said.

Stricter financial declarations and internal auditing, as well as strengthened supervision by the NPC could be ways to prevent corruption, making the CCDI likely to discuss them at this session, said Zhang Xixian, an anti-graft expert with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

According to Zhang, officials at all levels have to fill in a form listing their property, including houses and stocks, and those of their spouses. "The one they had to complete at the end of 2014 is more detailed than the 2013 one."

An anti-corruption law, which may include property disclosure, is likely to be on the table for 2015, said Zhang.

In 2014, CCDI inspection groups received many tip-offs about suspected cases of corruption. Zhang expects inspections in more areas and organizations in 2015.

The communiqué released after the CPC Central Committee's fourth plenary session  n October, 2014 emphasized the supervisory function of the NPC.

Chen Youxi, a law expert at the Renmin University of China, said that full-fledged NPC supervision can help the current anti-graft campaign by using its authority to establish a legal system to fight corruption.

For example, Chen said, China's constitution gives NPC deputies the right to vote for or against an official. Deputies can also look up an official's use of funds and investigate suspicious government projects.

"If a local official is found to have abused funds by NPC deputies, his case could be transferred to prosecutors more efficiently," Chen said.

But currently, most officials are appointed by the Party's organizational department and preliminary investigations are done by local Party disciplinary organizations and NPC deputies barely exercise their supervision rights, Chen noted.

According to Zhang, in 2015, anti-corruption efforts will see importance attached to filling empty seats left by officials who were removed from office during the campaign.

A group of officials, who were found to be clean during the anti-graft campaign and can govern in accordance with the law, will be promoted to fill vacant posts, Zhang said.

An article published on the mobile app of the People's Daily on January 6 said that the fall of Yang Weize, former Party chief of East China's Jiangsu Province, at the beginning of 2015 will help maintain public confidence in the Party's anti-graft campaign.

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