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TV series to expose corruption cases

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-04 07:43

Documentary is intended to educate the public and warn discipline officers

After learning about the stepping down of numerous corrupt officials, the public is for the first time hearing from some of the disgraced discipline officials themselves in a cautionary tale for public servants.

A three-part anti-corruption documentary, produced by the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top discipline watchdog, and China Central Television, began airing nightly on Tuesday at 8 pm on CCTV-1.

It comes right before an annual key meeting of the commission, which is expected to develop enhanced supervision and stricter rules for Party members.

"The TV series provides a first full look inside the stories of these corrupt discipline officials, including their luxurious lives lived at the public's expense and tearful expressions of regret, with analysis of their illegal behavior and ideological transformation, serving to educate the public and act as a strong warning to public servants," according to a statement by the commission on Tuesday.

It features the cases of 10 former senior anti-graft officials, including Zhu Mingguo, who was once in charge of fighting corruption in the southern Guangdong province, and Jin Daoming, former head of the discipline watchdog in North China's Shanxi province. Zhu received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve and Jin was sentenced to life in jail, both for taking bribes.

On Tuesday's episode, Wei Jian, former director of the CCDI's No 4 disciplinary inspection office, expressed remorse over his graft practices.

It's the second time the top anti-graft watchdog has filmed a TV series focusing on corruption.

In October, the commission aired an eight-part documentary that featured the cases of 10 former provincial or ministerial-level officials and one former State leader - Su Rong, former vice-chairman of China's top political advisory body - in a warning to public servants.

Last week, the top leadership held a meeting at which it was decided that a plenary session of the CCDI will be held in Beijing from Friday to Sunday.

At the meeting, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the country's top decision-making body, required discipline officials at all levels to receive supervision from both inside the Party and from the public and media so as to build a clean team that the Party can rely upon and the people can trust.

Commission statistics show that since late 2012, 38 officials at the top anti-graft watchdog were punished for corruption. More than 7,200 anti-graft officers across the country were investigated for violating Party rules or corruption.

Broadcasting the TV series before an annual key meeting of the commission is "a good chance to educate people on anti-graft and the supervision system to promote building a clean and honest government," said Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law.

"The priority is to clean up corruption and make the cases public to act as a warning. Making stricter Party rules will be an important issue during the key meeting," said Zheng Chuankai, a lawyer from the Beijing Lawyers Association, who specializes in handling graft cases.

"After watching the anti-graft stories, anti-graft officers will learn lessons and regulate their own behaviors according to the new rules, then strengthen efforts to investigate more graft cases," Zheng said.

According to the commission, the series' production team visited 15 provinces and regions to collect information on former top officials involved in corruption cases. They also interviewed 30 experts from home and abroad as well as anti-graft officers to further explain the cases and how they were handled.

Since the new leadership was elected in November 2012, anti-corruption has become a top priority in China and President Xi Jinping has conducted a sweeping drive to fight both high and low-ranking officials.

To date, more than 180 high-ranking officials have been investigated for graft issues, including Zhou Yongkang, a former top security chief, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2015.


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