Graft agency receives 9.5% more reports; punishments up 29%

Discipline authorities received 1.32 million reports of suspected graft and punished 210,000 people in the first half of this year, according to the country’s top discipline watchdog, with reports up by 9.5 percent and punishments up 29 percent year-on-year.

A total of 256,000 cases were officially filed for probe from January to June, compared with 193,000 during the same period last year, said Yang Xiaodu, minister of supervision and deputy head of the Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

“We’re are keeping high pressure against graft … and the strict governance of the Party is always ongoing,” he was quoted on Tuesday as saying by People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the CPC.

Yang said that since the new leadership was elected in late 2012, China’s anti-graft campaign has achieved great success.

The spread of corruption has stopped, and a crushing momentum against graft has taken shape, he said.

A key focus of the campaign is to target formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance. Commission figures show that about 244,000 officials across the country have been investigated for violations of the Party’s frugality code since late 2012, and 167 typical cases have been released on the commission’s website.

Discipline inspectors tend to look at some key time frames, such as Spring Festival and the National Day holiday, when bribes are more likely to happen. Using public funds for banquets, gift cards or travel, entering entertainment venues or luxurious clubs, and playing golf are all targets of discipline inspection, Yang said.

“(We’ve) managed to halt such bad tendencies, which many people considered unstoppable in the past,” he said.

Jiang Laiyong, a senior researcher with the China Anti-Corruption Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it’s considered a political task to require Party members to follow strict disciplines and the Party’s frugality code, such as to form a good social habit.

“Officials who violate the Party rules or disciplines face more severe Party or administrative penalties, including warnings or even being expelled from the Party,” he said.

Yang said that in the past five years, the commission has developed very effective procedures to tighten the supervision within the Party – to send inspectors from the central level all across the country. Inspectors have carried out 12 rounds of inspections to 277 Party organizations and units.