Beijing to step up crackdown on military corruption

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 11:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 11:14am

China is stepping up a crackdown on perks for military officials, targeting extravagant wedding ceremonies and funerals as it widens a graft probe into the use of public funds for banquets, travel and gifts, state media reported.

Perks enjoyed by officials of the People’s Liberation Army, including the use of secretaries, are among the issues being investigated by the military inspection teams, official news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.

Inspectors will look into “extravagant wedding ceremonies and funerals” held by military officials, besides strengthening investigations into public funds used for banquets, travel and gifts, it added.

The anti-corruption drive has made progress in cleaning up illicit apartments and vehicles, Xinhua reported, but is still “far from expectations”.

A campaign on widespread corruption by China’s President Xi Jinping has led to the detention of some senior government officials and executives in state-owned firms, including the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, PetroChina Co Ltd.

Xi also targeted officials in the military in the bid to weed out graft and consolidate his power. Late last year 18 military inspection teams fanned out to various departments and area commands.

The Communist Party and PLA are in the process of setting up local ‘watchdog’ offices to monitor soldiers for illegal activities such as graft, amid the drive by the leadership to clean up the military and root out graft.

They recommended in a joint document that government authorities should also crack down on military-related crimes, such as stealing and selling PLA secrets, and theft or destruction of equipment or facilities.

The PLA has come under closer scrutiny by the administration of President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Last month, former PLA deputy logistics chief Gu Junshan was charged with a raft of corruption charges including embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power. His former boss and ally, former Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman Xu Caihou, was also detained.