Anti-graft agency to widen net

Updated: 2014-02-05 00:10

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

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Officials will face punishment for shielding corrupt subordinates

China's top anti-graft agency has pledged to punish both corrupt officials and their leaders who failed to supervise them effectively amid the agency's efforts to boost clean governance.

The anti-corruption authorities will draw up concrete rules to punish officials who cover up their subordinates' misbehavior, according to the Research Division of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Many major corruption cases have existed for a number of years but were undiscovered by the local authorities, the research division told Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.

Some newly promoted officials' corruption was exposed immediately after they got promoted, which has harmed the image of the Party, according to the research division.

"Officials must investigate those responsible, as well as relevant leaders' involvement, including within Party committees and discipline inspection committees," said the research unit.

"(They) must make clear whether a leading official took the initiative to discover and resolutely investigate or ... was derelict in duty or even concealed discipline problems or shielded (violators)," it added.

During an annual conference held in Beijing in mid-January, the commission urged the chief Party and disciplinary leaders to supervise officials more effectively and actively.

Party committees at all levels must attach great importance to anti-graft work, and Party chiefs should deliver an anti-corruption report to higher-level disciplinary committees every year, according to the committee.

The commission said last month that officials whose children and spouses have migrated overseas, also known as "naked officials", will not get promoted in order to prevent corrupt officials from fleeing abroad.

The anti-graft authorities have taken strict measures to punish corrupt officials since the Party's new leadership was elected in November 2012.

At least 17 senior officials at ministerial level were investigated on corruption allegations last year, a sharp rise from previous years. Statistics released by the Supreme People's Procuratorate in early 2013 show that 30 officials at ministerial level were investigated from 2008 to 2012, an average of six per year.

The investigated officials included Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, and Li Dongsheng, former vice-minister of public security, both members of the 18th CPC Central Committee.

Huang Shuxian, deputy secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said on Jan 10 that a total of 182,038 corrupt officials were punished by the disciplinary supervision authorities last year, an increase of 13.3 percent from 2012.

Zhou Shuzhen, a professor of clean-governance research at Renmin University of China, said that the supervision of government officials will continue to be enhanced this year.

"The disciplinary authorities have taken some effective measures including a frugality campaign to curb corruption last year, and such measures are likely to be continued," she said.

Reuters contributed to this story.