Party graft cases show 30pc increase

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 12:00am

A total of 175,364 Communist Party cadres were investigated for corruption last year, Xinhua reported yesterday.

Investigators with the party's top corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, handled 174,633 cases last year, a commission conference in Beijing was told.

Those investigated included 6,076 county chiefs, 497 department heads and 16 senior officials of provincial governments.

From January to November last year, more than 1,400 senior officials were disciplined for taking bribes - in the form of cash and stocks - worth up to 250 million yuan (HK$235 million), Xinhua said.

The senior officials included former Yunnan governor Li Jiating, former vice-minister of Public Security Li Jizhou and former Shenyang mayor Mu Suixin.

The figures represented almost a 30 per cent increase over the previous year.

Earlier state media reports said 136,161 officials had been punished for graft, bribery or misconduct in 2000.

Commission secretary Wei Jianxing said the public had shown 'increased satisfaction' with the party's war on graft. He said the commission would heighten supervision of leading cadres this year and investigators would work hard to crack a few 'major cases'.

Mr Wei said 'reforming the system' was also an important task in the coming year.

Chinese leaders have warned that corruption could ruin the Communist Party.

However, most investigations are conducted within the party, and critics say these inquiries lack transparency.