BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The head of China's state assets regulator on Thursday vowed to fight corruption in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) administrated by the regulator.
At an anti-graft conference, Zhang Yi, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), urged central SOEs to "set a higher priority on punishing corrupt officials" and "determinedly contain the spreading trend of corruption" in central SOEs.
Zhang, whose predecessor, Jiang Jiemin, was arrested in September last year as part of the new leaders' anti-corruption drive, also called on discipline inspection committees in central SOEs to "maintain independence and authority when fulfilling their watchdog duty."
Leaders of the central SOEs will be held responsible and severely punished if their dereliction of duty leads to the spread of corruption and they fail to stop, investigate and report major corruption problems.
Graft in the state sector, sometimes deemed a honey pot for corrupt officials, made headlines last year, when authorities launched investigations into five former senior executives, including Jiang, at state-run oil and gas giant PetroChina.
Other SOEs where corruption was uncovered include China Grain Reserves Corporation and the China Publishing Group Corp.