CHINA cited the teachings of patriarch Deng Xiaoping yesterday to support its new anti-corruption campaign, saying he believed the drive against official graft was vital to preserving Chinese socialism. The People's Daily, in a front-page commentary, said Mr Deng's remarks over the years ''can unify the thinking of the whole party and guide the long-term anti-corruption battle''. Mr Deng said that opposing corruption was vital ''to avoid the party and the nation changing colour'' - meaning converting to capitalism. Mr Deng reportedly stressed the anti-corruption fight during his 1992 trip to southern China which launched the country's latest economic surge. ''We must fight corruption all the time in the course of reforms and opening to the outside world,'' Mr Deng said. ''Deng pointed out that leading officials should play an exemplary role in living a simple life. He also pointed out the need to rely on education and law in building an honest and corruption-free party.'' Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin this month launched a nationwide anti-corruption campaign, saying the ''virus'' had infected the party and threatened to ruin Chinese socialism. The People's Daily said Mr Deng's instructions were ''a powerful weapon in fighting corruption''. But in the quasi-capitalist province of Guangdong, a government report revealed that less than half of corruption cases were being investigated, although greater efforts were paid to fight against the ''major'' corruption cases. According to the China News Service, less than half of corruption cases were reported to have been investigated by the Guangdong provincial procuratorate despite the nationwide battle against corruption. The procuratorate received a total of 1,700 corruption cases between January and July, but only 700 cases were investigated. About 900 suspects were arrested and up to 30 per cent of them were sentenced to jail. Despite the low investigation rate, the provincial procuratorate succeeded in investigating more ''major cases'' of corruption than before, the report said. Of the 700 cases investigated, about 70 per cent were major ones, which was 20 per cent higher than last year. Major corruption cases are those involving more than 10,000 yuan (HK$13,400).