Corrupt officials in key posts are priority target

Updated: 2016-01-15 07:59

By Zhang Yi(China Daily)

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China's top anti-graft watchdog has vowed to maintain high pressure against corruption and ensure that inspection groups cover all state organs and institutions.

The watchdog reiterated an unswerving stance in the anti-corruption drive in a statement issued on Thursday after the sixth plenary session of the 18th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China. The meeting was held from Tuesday to Thursday.

The CCDI said it will continue to intensify the crackdown on corruption, maintain the pace of its efforts and relentlessly strive to curb corrupt behavior.

"The existing problems related to corruption must be resolved, and the number of new corruption cases must be decreased," it said, adding that the goal is to create a situation in which Party members "dare not, cannot and don't want to be corrupt".

The commission said corrupt officials in key posts are priority targets of the graft busting campaign.

It said that the "top priority" will be those who hold important posts and are likely to be further promoted but have not stepped back from corrupt behavior.

The correlation between laws and Party discipline was a key issue discussed at the meeting.

The statement said Party discipline adopts stricter standards than laws and serves as the base line for Party members.

"We must stick to the principle of governing the Party strictly by the disciplinary measures, and it must be a code of conduct for Party members. They must be punished if they are found to have violated discipline," it said.

Meanwhile, the commission also stressed that it is not the judiciary organ within the Party, saying "the vetting of Party members under the disciplinary codes cannot be equal to judiciary investigations. Supervision must be carried out in line with disciplinary regulations."

Wu Zhongmin, a professor of socialism studies at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the reference suggests that Party discipline should be stricter than laws but cannot replace the laws.

The three-day meeting summarized achievements of the fight against corruption in the past year and rolled out plans for this year's anti-corruption efforts.

It noted that great achievements have been made during the past year, with the two biggest "tigers", or high-ranking officials, brought down so far and their bad influence on the political environment removed.

Zhou Yongkang, former security chief, was sentenced to life in prison in June and Ling Jihua, former head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, was held for investigation in July on corruption charges.

Gao Bo, a political researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the investigation of senior officials shows the firm determination of the anti-graft authority.

Their cases sent out a stiff warning that no Party member is allowed to have prerogative rights and showed zero-tolerance for corruption in the Party.