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Anti-graft stress turns to finance

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-13 08:04

Keeping economic field clean crucial for order, development, expert says

Party discipline departments will emphasize investigations of corrupt officials in the field of finance in a bid to safeguard the healthy development of China's economy, according to a senior anti-graft researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In the past five years, the anti-graft campaign in the financial field has made great progress and has developed in both depth and breadth, Jiang Laiyong, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Anti-Corruption Research Center, said on Thursday, following a meeting on Tuesday of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. The commissioners discussed solutions to the problem of graft.

"Graft can occur easily in the economic system because of the large flow of capital," Jiang said. "The anti-corruption drive in the economic field has played an essential role in safeguarding financial order and is conducive to the steady recovery and healthy development of China's economy."

According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top anti-graft watchdog, 54 officials in Party organizations, governmental authorities, State-owned companies and the financial sector, had been placed under investigation between the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012 and the end of May this year.

Of the 54 investigated, seven were directly under the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, mostly at the ministerial or provincial level; 10 were senior directors at State-owned companies or in the financial sector; and another 37 were at bureau level or department chief level in the provinces, according to the CCDI.

Five of the 54 came from the insurance system and five were from securities institutions. In total, there were 21 from the banking sector and 23 from the investment field.

On Tuesday, China named new top officials to lead anti-corruption agencies under the country's banking and insurance regulators.

Lin Guoyao, a former municipal official in Fujian province, was appointed as the new chief of the Party disciplinary commission of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. Li Xinran, 45, a former disciplinary officer in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region, and a senior anti-graft official in the CCDI, was named chief of the Party disciplinary commission under the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

In September, Xiang Junbo, former chairman of the insurance regulator, was placed under investigation on suspicion of taking bribes, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Xiang has been placed under coercive measures as further investigation continues. In early September, Xiang was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office, the CCDI said.

Members of the insurance commission said at the Tuesday meeting that they will draw lessons from Xiang's case and remove the cancer of corruption through ideology and working style. It said it will place obedience to Party discipline as a top priority and build a clean government.

Moreover, they said they will step up supervision of sensitive positions, take steps to prevent similar cases in the future and impose severe punishments on those who use their positions improperly.

Ren Jianming, a professor at Beihang University who studies corruption, said the financial sector is a special field that has wide-ranging influence on China's economic development, and so it's prudent to focus anti-corruption efforts there.

According to lawyer Li Wei of the Beijing Lawyers Association, "Anti-graft departments at every level should further research the tendencies and characteristics of corruption touching the economic system, and improve mechanisms to close loopholes and enhance supervision to greatly reduce such crimes."

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