Chinese anti-graft bodies, the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China and the National Commission of Supervision, have announced that 2,300 corrupt officials were punished within their own departments last year, while 110 disciplinary inspection officials were transferred to judicial organs for investigation, according to their recent review statement.
Among the penalized officials, 77 people were at the bureau level or above, and around 460 people were at the county level.
The statement reveals that last year, discipline inspection and supervision organs at all levels implemented the principle of full and rigorous self-governance and took serious steps to investigate corruption, collusion, cover-ups, and other nefarious behaviour.
Disciplinary inspection and supervision agencies at all levels received 22,100 tip-offs about their own staff and have dealt with 17,200 of them so far. They also gave out cautions or ordered officials in question to give written statements 7,000 times, and filed 2,200 cases for investigation.
Last year, the national disciplinary inspection and supervision agencies used criticism and ordered oral or written explanatory statements to handle about 15,400 disciplinary inspection officials. They handed down light penalties and made minor organizational adjustments to positions for about 2,000 people.
The agencies also issued heavy penalties and made major adjustments to positions for around 330 officials, and dealt with 161 people through investigation and prosecution due to their serious violations of Party rules and national laws.
President Xi Jinping addressed the plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in January and said that discipline inspection and supervision organs should willingly submit themselves to oversight from all sides, manage their staff strictly and punish corrupt elements in the system harshly, to prevent being blind to their own problems.
The second plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, held in Beijing in January, stressed the importance of training high-calibre discipline inspection and supervision professionals who are competent enough to shoulder their mission on China’s journey in the new era.
The document also vowed to build a strong discipline inspection and supervision corps that is absolutely loyal to the Party, and to eliminate “black sheep” to ensure the team is uncompromising in its integrity.
Zhuang Deshui, deputy head of Peking University’s Clean Government Research Center, said officials of discipline inspection and supervision should not be free from the scope of supervision and do not have natural immunity to corruption. Instead, they should straighten out their own position and take the initiative to accept supervision, which is the objective requirement for the organs of discipline inspection and supervision to maintain the independence and impartiality of supervision.
The power of supervision and the power of handling cases exercised by discipline inspection and supervision organs are a kind of public power and should follow the most basic operational law of power and be subject to stricter supervision. If the power is improperly used, serious corruption problems will arise, according to Zhuang.
The work report submitted by the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to the 20th CPC National Congress showed that over the past five years, 43,000 officials in discipline inspection and supervision organs received cautions or were ordered to give explanatory statements, 721 officials were given organizational punishment, 16,000 people received disciplinary punishment, and 620 people were transferred to judicial organs for investigation.
“The key to the transformation of the supervisory power and the power to handle cases is that the power loses its restriction and is “captured” by senior power, privilege, and self-interests. If the supervisor and the supervised collude with each other, how can the impartiality of supervision and case-handling be guaranteed?” said Zhuang.