Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign

75,000 party cadres probed for graft, but more 'big tigers' unlikely, says analyst

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 October, 2014, 5:38am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 October, 2014, 7:34pm

Communist Party anti-graft inspectors have found nearly 75,000 cadres in breach of austerity measures since Xi Jinping launched a nationwide crackdown on corruption in January 2013, party mouthpiece People's Daily reported yesterday.

Citing data from party watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, People's Daily said that by the end of August, 74,333 of the party's 86 million members had been investigated, with 27 per cent punished. Others were disciplined or sent warning letters.

The campaign, launched by Xi after he became party general secretary, has brought down at least 51 provincial and ministerial-level officials, including former security tsar and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang , and Xu Caihou , a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission.

But given that no "princeling" officials - children of leading party veterans - have come under the spotlight, political analysts do not expect any more "big tigers" to be targeted.

"I don't think Xi will target any princeling officials because [they] are more reliable than senior officials who came from grass-roots families," Chen Daoyin, an associate professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said.

Xi, who is also state president, is the son of late reformist leader Xi Zhongxun and as such is also a princeling. He has said the anti-graft campaign aims to catch both "tigers" - top officials - and lower-ranking "flies".

"Compared with his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi seems more capable of sweeping up corruption because he has achieved the two key goals of his anti-graft campaign: enforcing his personal authority and winning public support," Chen said.

"The appearance of Jiang, Hu and other ex-leaders, some once rumoured to be under investigation, with Xi at National Day celebrations tell us the anti-graft drive will have a happy ending."

Chen said Xi's campaign climaxed with the announcement of investigations into Zhou and Xu so he did not expect any more top-ranking "tigers" to be netted.

The corruption crackdown began after Xi unveiled an eight-point austerity list, banning lavish banquets and other over-the-top official outlays.

A report on the CCDI website said the commission had urged all provincial governments to keep a close eye on officials during the National Day holiday.