Both 'tigers' and 'flies' targeted as nation's anti-corruption campaign bites hard
Disciplinary supervision authorities punished 182,038 corrupt officials last year, an increase of 13.3 percent from 2012, the country's top anti-graft agency said on Friday.
The authorities received more than 1.95 million tips from whistle-blowers and investigated 172,532 corruption cases in 2013, said Huang Shuxian, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Among those investigated, 31 are senior officials directly administered by the CPC Central Committee, Huang said at a Beijing news conference.
The commission has transferred the cases of eight senior officials including Liu Tienan, former deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, to the judicial authorities, he said.
"Discipline inspection agencies have made anti-corruption efforts a priority and worked to target 'tigers and flies' — both high- and low-ranking corrupt officials," Huang said.
Of the officials punished, more than 6,400 are at and above county level — 36.3 percent more than the figure for 2012, the commission said.
To improve efficiency, the commission reduced the number of coordinating agencies from 125 to 14, with more staff members directly involved in corruption investigations, Huang said.
Disciplinary authorities have kept a tight grip on enforcement of the "eight-point" rules, with 30,420 officials punished for violating these regulations, he added.
Under the "eight-point" rules, put forward by the CPC Central Committee in December 2012, government officials must clean up undesirable work practices such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.
To implement the rules, the commission introduced policies banning the buying of gifts with public funds, and lavish banquets ahead of major festivals.
It also sent inspection teams to 20 ministries and commissions, local governments, State-owned enterprises and a university to collect clues on corrupt activities involving senior officials.
The inspectors uncovered important information that helped to bring down several corrupt officials including Guo Youming, former vice-governor of Hubei province, Chen Anzhong, former deputy director of Jiangxi Provincial People's Congress, and Liao Shaohua, former Party chief of Zunyi, a city in Guizhou province.
More than 21,000 officials were held responsible for failing in their duties last year following major workplace accidents and serious pollution incidents, the commission said.
Anti-corruption efforts have been stepped up since the Party elected its new leadership in November 2012 at the 18th National Congress of the CPC.
President Xi Jinping has vowed many times to fight corruption, calling for the Party to remain on full alert, as corruption threatens its survival.
Zhou Shuzhen, a professor of political studies at Renmin University of China, said the Party expects to gain public trust with tough and effective measures to fight graft.
Such efforts are likely to be strengthened this year, as many grassroots officials have not improved their work style, she said.
"We saw a large number of 'tigers' under investigation last year, but many more 'flies' remain," she added.