Nearly 100,000 members of the Communist Party of China were punished
last year for corruption, but eradicating graft in the near future remains a
huge challenge, a senior official said.
the problem of corruption in a short time is almost impossible," Gan Yisheng, a
senior party discipline and oversight official, told a press conference in
Of the 97,260 officials who had been disciplined, over 80 percent had failed
to carry out duties, taken bribes or violated the party's financial rules, said
Gan, vice secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The punishments extended to prosecution for 3,530 cadres, seven of whom were
at or above the level of Cabinet minister or governor of a province.
Gan made little mention of an ongoing corruption case in Shanghai, although
it is China's largest graft probe in more than a decade and involves more than
20 senior businessmen and officials, including the city's party chief Chen
Chen, a member of the Politburo, was sacked in September for his alleged
involvement in the misuse of about $400 million of the city's pension funds
for speculative real estate projects.
The investigation, which first began to surface in July last year, is being
carried out "smoothly" and the results will be publicised at an "appropriate
time," Gan said.
The disciplinary official said that corrupt cadres made up a minuscule
percentage -- only 0.14 percent -- of China's nearly 70 million party members.
"The ratio is very low, and it means most of the party cadres are good," he
Nevertheless the Chinese government has waged an ongoing battle against
corruption, a problem that President Hu Jintao has warned it is a threat to
the party's legitimacy.
Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao have placed corruption at the top of the central
government's agenda since officially taking power in early 2003 and have since
launched several campaigns to rein in corrupt officials.
Several other ranking officials have reportedly been implicated in corruption
cases recently, including the former head of the food and drug administration
and the state's former top statistician.
Chief of National Bureau of Statistics Qiu Xiaohua, who is accused of
bribe-taking and polygamy, is in custody and his trial is expected to begin
soon, said Gan.