41 Party members expelled in Yunnan

Updated: 2014-12-11 07:53

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Xu Wei in Beijing(China Daily USA)

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Yunnan province's disciplinary watchdog has expelled 41 members of the Communist Party of China for using drugs, as local authorities launch an intensified campaign to fight corruption and crack down on illegal substance use.

The commission for discipline inspection of the Dehong Jingpo and Dai autonomous prefecture made the announcement on Tuesday.

Among those expelled were nine government officials or civil servants, who also were dismissed from their posts.

Another two retired officials were expelled from the Party and their pension benefits were reduced. The remaining 30 were Party member in rural areas.

Located close to the so-called Golden Triangle, comprising parts of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, one of the world's major opium producing areas, Yunnan has long been ravaged by crimes related to drug trafficking and use.

In 2012, police in the province seized 5.37 metric tons of heroin - 73 percent of the total nationwide - and 8.95 tons of methamphetamine, 55 percent of the nationwide total, smuggled over the border with Myanmar.

Authorities in the Dehong Jingpo and Dai autonomous prefecture enacted a new regulation in May that stipulates that Party members whom police have found to be drug users will be expelled from the Party.

Drug use among Party members and government officials is one of the leading causes of corruption in Yunnan, said Yang Fuquan, vice-president of the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences.

"To expel the drug users from the Party could also send a message to people outside the Party that authorities will continue the fight against drug use," he said.

Yang said the Dehong regulation should become a provincial-level regulation to further control drug abuse across the province.

Gao Wei, a professor of criminal law and narcotics control at Yunnan University, said that drug use could lead to dereliction of duty as it results in mental disorders and emotional vulnerability.

"Using drugs could lead government officials to corruption because it leads to a large economic burden on officials, and this can force them to accept bribes," he said.

Gao said the fact that a majority of the Party members who were found to be using drugs are from rural areas also underlines the difficulty of drug control there.

"It also shows there is no double standard within the Party, and those who violate Party discipline should be expelled, no matter what position they hold," he said.

Contact the writers at liyingqing@chinadaily.com.cn and xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

Liu Wenwen in Kunming contributed to this story.

41 Party members expelled in Yunnan

(China Daily USA 12/11/2014 page4)