Inspectors had hands full in 2011

Updated: 2012-01-07 07:53

By Wang Huazhong (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China's top disciplinary authority said 4,843 officials who held positions above the county level were punished in 2011 and that it continues to deal "seriously" with officials' violations.

Cui Shaopeng, spokesman for the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said on Friday said that 777 of those officials are to go through legal proceedings.

In 2010, 5,098 officials who worked above the county level were punished. That was up by 10.8 percent from 2009, official figures show.

In Guangdong province alone, 958 county officials have been investigated in recent years. Commenting on that, Wang Yang, Party chief of Guangdong, said earlier that officials have taken on a greater tendency to commit disciplinary violations and asked officials to cultivate moral virtues in themselves.

On Friday, Cui said disciplinary authorities at all government levels have been seriously investigating violations and consider that to be their "highest task".

He said Liu Zhijun, a former railways minister, is one of many one-time holders of senior positions who are under disciplinary investigation.

Liu was removed from his job in February after he was alleged to have committed "severe violations of discipline". He is also among the officials being held responsible for a high-speed train collision that killed 40 passengers in July.

Cui said disciplinary authorities across the country have investigated cases involving local officials.

One person subjected to the scrutiny was Yang Hongwei, the governor of the Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture, who was suspected of taking bribes and using narcotics.

Cui said Chinese supervision and disciplinary authorities have investigated 137,859 cases of discipline violations and closed 136,679 of those cases in 2011. The work led to penalties for 142,893 government workers and Party members in 2011.

Qu Wanxiang, vice-minister of supervision, said cases involving disciplinary violations by officials usually have to do with six matters:

Seizures of lands and demolitions, the supervision of drugs and food, the construction of public housing, farming, education and health, and the imposition of irregular charges or fines on vehicles.

This past year saw nearly 1,500 cases of illegal land appropriations and illegal demolitions. Authorities held 509 people to account for those misdeeds, Qu said.

Even though the authorities have made progress in fighting corruption and upholding clean governance, Cui warned that "prominent difficulties still exist".

"Our work to fight and prevent corruption has been strengthened. (But) coexistence is a tendency of corruption."

He said the public often clamor for an end to be brought to corruption. That, he said, has proved to be a difficult demand to satisfy.

China Daily