More than 70,000 officials at or above the level of county head have been investigated for suspected corruption since the 18th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2012, the top anti-graft body said on Oct 7.
The anti-graft campaign continues to gain momentum and win applause from the public, according to a statement on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that 93 percent of Chinese people were satisfied with the anti-corruption effort in 2016, 18 percentage points higher than in 2012.
Five years ago, China’s new leadership launched a high-profile anti-corruption campaign, which led to the downfall of a number of high-level officials, known as “tigers”, and lower-level “flies” at the grassroots level.
According to the CCDI, 1.34 million township-level officials and 648,000 Party members and officials in rural areas were also punished during that period. As of August, the watchdog had dealt with 270 problems in 21 county-level administrative regions, carrying out several audits of poverty-alleviation work.
The CCDI also said it had conducted inspection of 155,000 Party organizations in the past five years, transferring 65,000 pieces of evidence about problems involving officials for further investigation.
The Party released an “eight-point” rule on austerity in late 2012 to reduce undesirable work practices. The disciplinary commission now has a monthly reporting system that logs the implementation of the rules within provincial-level governments, central Party and governmental agencies, centrally administered State-owned enterprises and central financial institutions.
China has also worked with the international community to hunt corruption suspects who fled overseas via the so-called Sky Net manhunt and other operations.
As of August, 3,339 fugitives had been captured from more than 90 countries and regions. Of those, 628 were former officials. About 9.36 billion yuan ($1.41 billion) was recovered, the CCDI said.
Of the top 100 fugitives who had been listed in Interpol red notices, 47 have been arrested, it said.
Because of the high pressure, the number of corruption suspects who fled overseas declined drastically in 2016. Just 19 suspects fled China in 2016, compared with 31 in 2015 and 101 in 2014.
Over the past five years, the CPC Central Committee has tirelessly addressed si feng, or “the four forms of decadence” — formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.
By the end of 2016, 155,300 violations of the eight-point code on frugality and maintaining close links with the masses had been investigated. Among the violations, 78 percent took place in 2013 and 2014, 15 percent in 2015 and about 7 percent in 2016 — a sharp decline.
Moreover, the CCDI has gone after corruption within its own ranks, which it refers to as “darkness hiding beneath the light”.
By the end of 2016, 17 disciplinary officials were investigated and 7,900 others were punished, it said.