Ten provinces among targets of latest anti-graft inspections
Investigators will also be sent to top research institute and large state-owned carmaker
Keith Zhai, Keira Lu Huang and Huifeng He
The mainland's anti-graft chief vowed zero tolerance for corruption as he announced the latest round of team inspections.
Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), said the new round would be carried out at 10 provincial-level governments, a national agency, the mainland's top research institute and a large state-owned enterprise, China News Services reported.
It would be the fourth round of sweeps since May last year.
Inspectors will fan out to Guangxi, Shanghai, Qinghai, Tibet, Zhejiang, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Jiangsu. Special investigation projects would be also be conducted at the State General Administration of Sports, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the state-owned China FAW Group.
Wang said inspectors could investigate any place, department, enterprise or sector where they suspected severe graft.
The pledge came as two senior mainland officials were demoted and stripped of their party membership for serious discipline violations, the anti-graft agency has said.
The move is unusual because officials suspected of corruption are usually handed over to prosecutors, although observers said investigations might be continuing. Zhao Zhiyong, secretary general of the Communist Party's Jiangxi provincial committee, and Zhang Tianxin, former party chief of Kunming in Yunnan, had committed "serious discipline violations", the anti-corruption watchdog announced on its website yesterday.
Zhao was demoted to an entry- level position, while Zhang was given a largely ceremonial position as deputy section chief - the third-lowest in the mainland's bureaucracy.
They were found to have taken advantage of their positions for personal gain. Zhang's negligence had also caused loss of state assets, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said.
Their ill-gotten gains were confiscated, the statement said, without giving details. The agency did not say whether the two would be handed over to judicial authorities.
A discipline officer, who requested anonymity, said the two officials cooperated with the inquiries and volunteered to return their gains, which could explain why they were only demoted.