Chinese tipsters giving a major boost to Xi's graft battle

Government anti-graft agencies received nearly 2 million tip-offs from citizens across the country, resulting in thousands of prosecutions and punishments

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 January, 2014, 2:33pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 January, 2014, 4:54am

Chinese president and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping appears to be getting plenty of help from the public in his escalating campaign to root out corruption in the world’s largest political organisation of more than 85 million.

Anti-graft agencies across mainland China received 1.95 million reports from informants or whistle-blowers last year, which led to the prosecution of more than 172,500 cases and punishment meted out against 182,000 officials for violating party discipline, Huang Shuxian, a deputy director of the Party’s Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI), said in a press conference on Friday.

In an annual report published on Tuesday, CCDI, the party’s top graft-fighting body, said reports from the public were an important information source for its investigations.

The annual report also highlighted the importance of the new CCDI website, believed to be a brainchild of Wang Qishan, the head of the commission and a member of Politburo Standing Committee, the Party’s top power club.

Since its launch in September, ordinary citizens across the country have been able to report suspected corruption cases directly to the commission via the site. The commission says it has received an average of 760 reports per day.

Wang Qishan called the website a channel for people to exercise their right of supervision, and “a major move to improve anti-corruption work under new circumstances”, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Earlier reports from Xinhua also said the site helped expose hundreds of cases involving officials violating government and party discipline, including using official vehicles for private purposes or spending public funds on lavish entertainment.

The annual report released after president Xi Jinping made a keynote speech earlier this week in a high-profile meeting, which attended by three members of the party’s decision making Standing Committee. Xi urged officials to root out corruption from their own ranks and to “clean up the black sheep”.

Fighting corruption has been a centrepiece of Xi’s administration.

The commission said it had investigated 83,000 cases in rural areas and punished 87,000 officials.

Xinhua also said last year’s crackdown on corruption had shown the top leaders of the party have “zero tolerance” for graft, no matter the officials are “tigers” or “flies”.