China’s top law enforcement body has named four sectors that will be in the cross hairs of an ongoing crackdown on organised crime over the next 12 months. Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, said at a meeting on Wednesday that organised criminal activities were rife in the telecoms, resources, transport and construction industries. They would be the next focus of the nationwide campaign , according to a post on the commission’s Changanjian social media account on Thursday. The move comes two weeks after Beijing issued a directive to strengthen control and governance at the community level, part of a broader push by the ruling Communist Party to tighten its grip on all aspects of society. The crackdown on organised crime was launched in 2018 and originally meant to run for three years. But in March, Guo Shengkun, party secretary of the commission, said the campaign would not stop because it had “won the people’s support” for cleaning up at the grass roots of China’s governance system – meaning residential communities in cities and villages in rural areas. It is part of President Xi Jinping ’s sweeping anti-corruption drive , which began after he took power in 2012. Xi has in the past three years directed the law enforcement body to stamp out major criminal networks, their financial support and the officials who collude with them in a bid to tackle organised crime and corruption, particularly at the grass roots. At Wednesday’s meeting of the law enforcement body – which oversees police officers, prosecutors, courts and prisons – Chen said they should “stay focused and strike hard” on the four sectors over the next year. In telecoms, they were told to target telemarketing scams and stop people involved in fraudulent schemes from leaving China. For resources, Chen said they should work with the environment protection agency to track down the criminal gangs who control illegal sand mining and the officials who collude with them. The police and transport ministries were told to work together to clamp down on extortion in the trucking industry, fuel theft and to stop gangs from “controlling the transport market and monopolising resource allocation”. And in construction, Chen said the focus would be on areas like soliciting projects by force, illegal building work, forced transactions and payment defaults. From 2018 to 2020, the crackdown has seen more than 15,000 criminal organisations busted and over 242,000 suspects arrested, according to Beijing. The party’s discipline watchdog has arrested nearly 116,000 officials for corruption, including more than 42,700 village cadres. More than 650 gang-related groups have been brought down, and over 146.2 billion yuan (US$22.6 billion) of assets confiscated. China targets illegal sand miners stripping the Yangtze River A lawyer in Beijing said while the campaign had cleaned up some problems at the grass roots and within law enforcement, more needed to be done to protect people’s rights. “Many companies have been affected by this campaign and I think there is a need to strike a balance … so that the legitimate rights of the private sector are protected,” said the lawyer, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Alfred Wu, an associate professor with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said given the power and lack of transparency in China’s law enforcement system, it would be hard to eliminate corruption. He said there should be “more ‘safety valves’ in the system for people to air their grievances and be able to blow the whistle safely”.