China punishes 4.7 million people in decade-long anti-graft campaign
Published: Jun 30, 2022 10:48 PM
anti-graft Photo: VCG

anti-graft Photo: VCG

 China has won an overwhelming victory in the fight against corruption in the past decade with the anti-graft watchdog investigating 4.39 million cases and punishing 4.7 million people as of April. Chinese observers believe upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the fundamental guarantee for China's achievements in countering graft, which also reflects China's institutional strengths compared with the US and a few Western countries where corruption has been institutionalized. 

Wang Jianxin, director of the Publicity Department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC and the National Commission of Supervision, said at a press conference on Thursday that since the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012 to the end of April this year, the discipline inspection and supervision organs nationwide investigated 4.39 million cases, and punished 4.7 million people.

He said that disciplinary organs handled more than 723,000 cases of violations of the eight-point rules on improving Party and government conduct, with more than 644,000 people punished.

A total of 74,000 people nationwide voluntarily surrendered to discipline inspection and supervision organs since the 19th CPC National Congress in October 2017, the official said, noting that it demonstrated China strikes hard with zero tolerance for corruption, and anti-graft campaigns have been conducted on a regular basis. 

Relying on the leadership of the CPC to fight against corruption and on the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics to punish corruption, as well as relying on the strengths of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics to prevent corruption, China has successfully blazed a path of fighting against corruption with Chinese characteristics, Wang said. 

Ren Jianming, an anti-corruption expert from Beihang University's School of Public Administration, told the Global Times on Thursday that the most important feature of fighting against corruption with Chinese characteristics is upholding the leadership of the CPC, which guarantees that China could carry the anti-corruption campaign through to the end amid tough and complex situations.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said at the 40th group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee last week that although China has won an overwhelming victory in the fight against corruption and fully consolidated what has been achieved, the situation is still tough and complex. China should never underestimate the stubbornness and harm of corruption. He said the country must carry the anti-corruption campaign through to the end, and make coordinated efforts to see to it that officials have no audacity, opportunity, or desire to engage in corruption. 

Some observers noted that Xi's remarks sent a clear signal to CPC members of a guarantee that the Party "will not lose its original quality" when the century-old Party begins its journey to the next centennial. It serves as a reminder before the 20th National Congress of the CPC, when governments at all levels are expected to undergo a reshuffle, that upright officials endowed with honesty are welcome to serve.  

Ren said that corruption, ultimately, is a violation of the interests of the people, and the CPC gives people a solid sense of gain, happiness and security through the anti-graft campaign. 

Since 2012, China has taken seriously all problems people complained about strongly. Since the country launched the national campaign against organized and gang-related crimes in 2018, China has dealt with 100,000 cases involving corruption and "protective umbrellas "of criminal gangs and punished 92,000 people as of the end of April, according to Wang. 

China's achievements in the anti-graft campaign in the past decade reflect China's institutional strengths, Ren said, noting the political system of the US and other Western countries cannot allow their countries to implement such a long-term strategy. 

Some US media outlets have been smearing China's anti-corruption campaign for years. 

Analysts believe the corruption issue has been used by the US as a tool in the ideological sector to attack China, which fully reflects the zero-sum mentality of hegemony of the US. 

Ren said the American media smeared China but ignored the serious institutionalized corruption in their own country, where money politics prevail in elections. 

China's anti-graft campaign has become a regular campaign with zero tolerance in recent years, as the number of people punished every year nationwide since 2018 stood at around 600,000, according to analysts.   

This year, the national anti-graft campaign has been targeting the country's finance sector, and more than 60 people in financial institutions have been punished so far this year, according to media calculations. 

Ren said corruption cases in the finance sector often involve a huge amount of money, which may bring financial risks to the country, and anti-corruption in the sector lays a solid foundation for the country to achieve stable and sustainable economic development in the long run. 

He said with more people being punished and more loopholes being exposed in the finance sector through anti-graft probes, China is likely to further reform its financial supervision system to better prevent financial risks.