29 high-ranking officials probed, sentenced from January to May, reflecting China’s ‘consistent efforts’ on anti-corruption
Published: Jun 03, 2024 07:43 PM
Handcuffs Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

Chinese discipline inspection and supervision authorities have taken action against 29 high-ranking officials in the first five months of 2024, according to a Caixin report on Monday. Experts said that this reflects the country’s consistent determination to fight against corruption, as well as the comprehensive nature of anti-corruption efforts, which now covers a wider section of society. 

These problematic officials include Gou Zhongwen, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Zhou Zheng, a former deputy general manager of China’s leading food trader COFCO Corporation and He Zehua, former deputy chief of China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

Gou, also a deputy head of the Committee on Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the CPPCC National Committee, is under investigation for suspected severe violations of Party discipline and the law, the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision said in a statement released on May 30. 

Gou born in 1957, a native of Northwest China’s Gansu Province, started working in 1974 and joined the Party in 1976. He previously was a vice mayor of Beijing, and served as director of the General Administration of Sport of China from 2016 to 2022, according to media reports.

Zhou, the former deputy general manager of COFCO Corporation, has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes, embezzlement, and abuse of power, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said on May 29. Zhou’s case was handed over to the procuratorial authority following the conclusion of a National Commission of Supervision investigation.

Also, He, the former deputy chief of China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, has been sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, for accepting large amount of bribes. The sentence was handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court of Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

The actions reflect the country’s “consistent efforts” to fight against corruption in recent years, going after corrupt officials including both high-ranking “tigers” to lower-level “flies,” Yang Xuedong, a professor from the department of political science at Tsinghua University told the Global Times, on Monday.

It may further reflect the expansion and comprehensiveness of the country’s anti-corruption efforts, extending to fields such as sports, finance, healthcare, and the tobacco industry, which are closely related to people’s daily lives, Yang said. 

Focus on these sectors demonstrates the country’s commitment to meeting the needs and addressing the concerns of the public, indicating that the anti-graft efforts are not confined to a particular area, according to Yang.

Meanwhile, relevant departments nationwide are actively conducting education on Party discipline, making Party members be alert, understand the bottom line and respect the rules, by using typical discipline violation cases as cautionary lessons.

For example in South China’s Hainan Province, a province-wide education meeting was held on May 27, in which the relevant departments selected 10 typical cases of violations of discipline and law to compile an education material. Additionally, the province established a database of education videos, with a total of 87 videos included, according to the China’s top anti-graft body.

Global Times