China’s top disciplinary watchdog has announced a significant step in the campaign against corruption.
It is setting up permanent offices at four Communist Party of China central bodies to intensify anti-graft work.
Similar branches will be set up at the country’s top legislature, top political advisory body and the General Office of the State Council, or cabinet.
The decision was made at a Standing Committee meeting of the Party Central Committee’s Political Bureau on Dec 11, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The move is an important step in setting up Central Commission for Discipline Inspection offices at all central Party and government bodies in future, Xinhua said, quoting the commission’s deputy secretary Chen Wenqing.
The commission is sending resident supervisors to the Party Central Committee’s General Office, Organization Department, Publicity Department and United Front Work Department for the first time.
Supervisors will also be sent to the National People’s Congress, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the General Office of the State Council.
The central Party and government authorities are organs of supreme power and main center of the country’s governance system. However, Chen said that graft cases in recent years at some of these bodies have had a very bad impact, and it is vital that supervision is strengthened.
Chen said disciplinary offices have already been set up at 52 central government bodies. Thursday’s decision forms part of the work to set up disciplinary commission offices at all 140 central Party and government bodies.
The offices will focus on supervision and be responsible for disciplinary inspection, implementation of Party discipline and tracing accountability.
Hong Daode, a professor at the Law School at China University of Political Science and Law, said the decision sends an important signal that there is no safe haven for anyone involved in corruption.
“We haven’t paid enough attention to supervision and graft prevention at the countries’ top government bodies, and these organs are vulnerable to breeding corruption,” he said.
Hong also said the new offices must be managed directly by the commission and report to it directly.
Cheng Lei, a professor at the Law School at Renmin University of China, said the decision is the first step taken by the Party Central Committee to establish a nationwide anti-graft system.
This is just the first step in establishing the system, Cheng said. More disciplinary commission permanent offices will be set up at branches of top government bodies.
Hong said setting up such offices at these bodies will have an increased deterrent effect and show people in China and elsewhere in the world the Party’s determination to fight graft.