Party expelled 24,100 members last year
The Communist Party expelled more than 24,000 members from its 70-million-strong ranks last year, according to the party's top disciplinarian.
Wu Guanzheng, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, delivered a work report at a recent commission conference stating that 24,188 members had been expelled.
The figure represents a sharp drop from the 49,000 that were kicked out of the party in 2004.
Investigators from the commission launched probes into 148,931 cases between December 2004 and November last year.
During the same period, 115,143 party members were disciplined. Of those punished, 44,836 received warnings, while 32,289 were given serious warnings. About 3,000 were stripped of their party work duties, while about 10,600 had their membership suspended pending further investigation.
The commission handed over 15,177 members to judicial departments for suspected involvement in criminal activities.
Mr Wu also highlighted some 'preliminary achievements' in cleaning up the mainland's problem-plagued mining industry.
He said 4,878 officials had declared stakes in coal mines amounting to 737 million yuan. Of that amount, 562 million yuan had been withdrawn. Officials were banned last year from investing in coal mines.
Mr Wu also lashed out at the problem of 'buying positions' which has emerged in the mainland bureaucracy.
'This year, all local party committees are in the run-up to reshuffles. This will be a significant event in the political life of the entire party,' he said. 'Not only will those involved in buying official positions not be promoted or given an important position, but they will face serious criticism and their records will be marked down.'
During the period covered by Mr Wu's report, 334 officials were criticised for buying positions.
Mr Wu also said supervision of offices set up by provincial and local governments in Beijing would be increased to curb corruption. It has been widely reported many provincial officials struck deals with central government officials through their Beijing offices by paying bribes.