The journalist who raised corruption allegations on the internet in December against the head of the mainland's energy regulator, contributing to the senior official's downfall this month, says his success is unlikely to be repeated.
In his first public interview since he revealed the wrongdoings of Liu Tienan on his microblog, Luo Changping , a deputy editor of the influential Caijing magazine, told the Beijing Times that his victory in combating corruption was an isolated case.
Liu, was sacked from his position as a deputy director of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission after Luo accused him of taking bribes to help a businessman defraud banks of more than US$200 million in loans in 2011 for an investment in Canada.
Xinhua reported earlier that the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection had launched an investigation into Liu's case.
Luo said the downfall of Liu, who was also head of the National Energy Administration, could not become a model for future anti-corruption campaigns because it was only an isolated case of one official being brought down by online allegations.
Luo said on his account with the mobile messaging application WeChat that Liu's corruption was first reported to the party's disciplinary watchdogs in 2007 by some insiders linked to the fraud scheme.
However, Liu was promoted to the post of deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission in 2008.
A group of retired planning authority staff also reported Liu's wrongdoings to the government in April last year after Caijing magazine published an article on the fraud case.
None of those reports had led to an official investigation of Liu, he said.
Luo said in the microblog interview that it was practically impossible for journalists working alone to expose corruption on a case-by-case basis, and that the national anti-corruption system as a whole needed to become more institutionalised.
"People had reported Liu's case four times [before authorities finally dismissed him from his post]," he said.
"Do you still believe this is something of a success?"