Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign

Top economic planning agency officials sent on anti-corruption educational tours of prisons

National Development and Reform Commission staff visit Beijing and Yancheng Prisons and many 'leave in state of shock' after talks by former officials jailed for corruption

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 2014, 5:13pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 6:02pm

More than 200 officials at China’s top economic planning agency with jobs believed most vulnerable to corruption have been sent on educational tours of prisons where convicted officials are serving sentences.

China’s anti-corruption watchdog reported that three teams of officials from China’s National Development and Reform Commission visited the cells, meeting rooms and canteens at both Beijing Prison and Yancheng Prison.

The tours are part of an anti-corruption drive, said a news bulletin issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Tuesday.

Beijing Prison is Beijing Municipal government’s “anti-corruption educational base”, while Yancheng Prison, in Hebei, comes under the authority of China’s Ministry of Justice.

Former officials that are now inmates at the two prisons spoke to the visitors about how they became corrupted, the pain they have experienced after being jailed and the harm it has inflicted on their families and other relatives, the news bulletin said.

The visitors had left the prisons “in a state of shock”, with many of them saying the tour had proved a vivid warning against corruption, the report said.

Following the tour, the officials now realised the importance of remaining “clear-headed” when in positions of authority where it was possible to be corrupted, it said.

The newspaper Beijing Youth Daily reported that many government ministries have organised tours of the two prisons since the Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress, in 2012, at which Xi Jinping was appointed General Secretary.

The Finance Ministry, Ministry of Science and Technology and China National Tourism Administration are among those that have sent officials to Beijing Prison for anti-corruption education, while officials at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have been sent on tours at Yancheng Prison.

Nearly 340,000 officials have visited Beijing Prison since the anti-corruption educational tours began in 2008, said an article published on CCDI’s website last August.

Beijing Prison can accept up to 150 officials on the anti-corruption tour each day, Beijing Youth Daily said.