Wang Qishan

Beijing bribery cases up in 2012

Prosecutors handed 1,883 cases involving 2,238 officials to legal authorities over five years

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 January, 2013, 5:33am

Bribery cases in Beijing involving officials continued to rise last year, but there were fewer incidences of embezzlement, prosecutors in the capital said.

Zhang Guoying, director of the anti-corruption office of the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate, told the Beijing People's Congress yesterday that municipal prosecutors had handed 1,883 graft cases involving 2,238 officials to legal authorities over the past five years, with 115 defendants being bureau-level officials, the Legal Evening News reported.

Bribery cases involving officials accounted for 58 per cent of all cases being investigated by prosecutors during the past five years, while embezzlement accounted for 31 per cent, it said.

The report came a few days after the Communist Party's anti-graft tsar Wang Qishan vowed that the near-term goal of anti-corruption drives would be to focus on addressing "symptoms" in a bid to "buy time for the party to wipe out the source of corruption".

"We should focus on the Spring Festival and the [annual meetings of the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference] to prevent officials from squandering public funds on pomp and perks," Wang, chief of the party's Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, said at a commission workshop on Wednesday, according to the website of the Ministry of Supervision.

"We will continue keep a close watch during the May Day, National Day and New Year holidays. With our iron fists and persistence, we will see results."

Wang's speech came a day after Xi Jinping, the party's general secretary, told a meeting of the commission last week that the party would crack down on senior and low-ranking corrupt officials and restrict officials' power by "confining them in the cage" of a regulatory system.

Political analysts doubted the latest anti-corruption campaign would be any more effective than previous ones.

"The fatal problem with the anti-graft campaign is that there are no warriors with clean hands in the party's corrupt political system," said Professor Zhang Ming, a political scientist at Renmin University in Beijing. "The new party leadership dreams only of the party's revival … yet none of them dare take the political risk of pushing political reform."