The Communist Party's anti-graft chief pointed to the aggressive investigation into the crimes of former Politburo member Bo Xilai as a clear indication of the success of the anti-corruption drive over the past five years.
He Guoqiang , head of the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, told a recent meeting of the party's anti-corruption co-ordination group that no effort would be spared in eliminating rampant graft.
"We should maintain strong momentum in our fight against corruption," a Xinhua report yesterday quoted He as saying. "The corrupt elements, no matter who they are, will be resolutely dealt with without mercy. Never let them get away from the punishment of party discipline and state laws."
He became the party's anti-graft chief in 2007 and is expected to step down after next months' party congress.
In reviewing the past five years of work, He said more than 660,000 officials found guilty of disciplinary violations had been punished, and more than 24,000 officials suspected of committing crimes had been handed over to government judicial agencies for prosecution.
He singled out the cases of former Chongqing party secretary Bo, former railways minister Liu Zhijun and former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng . Bo was accused by the commission of corruption and having affairs with a number of women. He was expelled from the party and Chongqing's people's congress last month.
Liu was expelled from the party in May following a 15-month internal party investigation into allegations of corruption. Both their cases are still with government prosecutors.
Xu was given a suspended death sentence last year for taking more than 30 million yuan (HK$36.76 million) in bribes and other corruption-related charges.
Beijing-based political commentator Hu Xingdou said the investigation into Bo was an iconic case that demonstrated the commission's determination to take down dirty officials.
"Many thought Bo could have a safe landing, but it turned out not to be," Hu said.