China’s top anti-graft body has established a new office to go after corrupt officials who have fled abroad and retrieve their illicit funds, an official says.
The International Cooperation Bureau is merged from the former foreign affairs office and corruption prevention office. It is part of the reorganisation of the secretive Central Committee of Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which began last year, Xie Guanghui , a deputy director of the agency, revealed in an interview on the committee’s website yesterday.
The new office was established to deploy more resources and effort in the investigations, Xie said.
CCDI has undertaken two rounds of restructuring since last August as a part of the deepening anti-graft campaign, the biggest in decades in the country.
In March, CCDI said on its website that it had established 12 offices for discipline inspections. In yesterday’s interview, Xie said the number of such offices was now 14, including one that targets graft by CCDI’s own discipline cadres, in line with calls by President Xi Jinping to tackle “the darkness under the light”.
Xi, who became the president early last year, is trying to end a culture of corruption that he sees as damaging the party’s image and that would ultimately bring it down if not curtailed.
China has investigated more than 60,000 graft cases in the first five months of this year, nearly 35 per cent more than the same period last year, Xie said. A total of 34 provincial- or ministerial-level officials have been brought down since last year, he said.
More than 50,000 officials have been investigated after Xi imposed measures against government officials living lavish lives in late 2012, Fang Wenbi, the director of the party work style office of CCDI, who also participated in the interview, said.
In one of the most high-profile cases, Tan Li, the deputy governor of Hainan, was placed under investigation earlier this month.
He allegedly accompanied company bosses on golf outings – a sport often seen as luxurious by party cadres in China.
Also last week, the Ministry of Public Security announced it was setting up a new working group to retrieve bribery funds from overseas and go after suspects in economic crimes.