China to streamline discipline supervision system
                 English.news.cn | 2014-01-15 19:09:49 | Editor: An

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- China will carry on its anti-graft battle this year through reforming the supervision system and tightening punishment, according to a Party document released on Wednesday.

Chief officials of Party organs at all levels should be aware that failing to curb corruption is a serious breach of duty, said the communique issued after the third plenary session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection closed here.

They will be the first to be held responsible if corruption occurs in their field of responsibility, said the document.

It also announced that the CPC will streamline its discipline inspection system.

Currently, each local discipline inspection agency is under the dual leadership of the CPC committee at the same level and the inspection agency of its superior level.

However, the CPC plans to grant more power to superior discipline inspection agencies, the document said.

Prof. Xie Chuntao, with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, labelled the reform an effective move.

"Sometimes a local discipline inspection agency will come across leads that involve officials of the CPC committee at the same level. A more powerful superior agency will make sure it reports the leads, smoothes investigation and prevents cover-ups," Xie told Xinhua.

According to the document, the CPC will also sharpen the efficiency of the inspectors the CCDI dispatches to provincial governments, big state-owned enterprises and public institutions to discover malpractice and harmful work styles.

Last year, these inspectors, sent in 10 teams to 20 provincial governments, big state-owned enterprises and public institutions, came back with important information that helped bring down a number of corrupt officials.

Another task discipline agencies will carry on this year is to fight undesirable work styles, such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance, in line with the eight-point guidelines issued by the CPC leadership in December 2012.

The country will continue the ban on officials spending public money on expensive dinners, gifts and tours, visiting private clubs, as well as accepting gifts and money from their subordinates and persons of interest in any form.

The CCDI also pledged name-and-shame measures on officials if they were caught violating the guidelines and bans.

Discipline inspection agencies will continue investigating and punishing officials violating Party rules and laws, especially those embezzling public money, taking bribes, selling or buying government positions, bending laws for personal ends, living a corrupted lifestyle and failing to fulfill their duties.

"We will step up our efforts to hunt down corrupt officials who flee abroad and retrieve their illegal income," the document further vowed. "They will never go unpunished."

Senior officials will be under stricter scrutiny. Discipline agencies will double-check the information they are asked to report, mostly about their personal lives, for instance, whether their spouses and children have migrated.

Also, the CCDI pledged to police its own officers, severely punish any corrupt ones and be open to supervision from other Party departments, the public and media.

The plenary session opened on Monday and heard an important speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In that address, Xi summed up the current anti-graft situation and pointed out the direction and major missions for the near future.

His speech reiterated the CPC's firm resolve against corruption and strong will to improve its work style, according to the communique.

Xi stressed that the anti-graft fight is vital for the Party's integrity in the long term, urging independent and authoritative supervision from disciplinary agencies.

Since the new CPC leadership took office in November 2012, it has struck hard on corruption and made major progress.

According to the CCDI, discipline inspection agencies punished about 182,000 officials nationwide in 2013, 13.3 percent more than in 2012. Thirty-one high-profile officials were investigated by the CCDI itself and eight of them were handed over to prosecutors.

While praising the achievements, Xi stressed that hotbeds of corruption still exist, and that the anti-corruption situation is still austere and complicated.

China's anti-graft drive is much more highlighted than in previous years partly due to the focus of Party leadership and partly to pressure from the public, mostly in the form of online whistleblower, Prof. Xie said.

The CPC will have to first take down corrupt officials and correct wrongdoing and then move onto measures that can finally root up corruption, according to Xie.

"I believe the momentum has just picked up and will stay strong," he said.

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BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China's discipline watchdog closed graft investigations into eight high-profile officials and handed over their cases to prosecutors in 2013, said a senior discipline inspector here on Friday.

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