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Strikes against corruption

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-09 07:10

The anti-corruption campaign launched by China's new leadership since taking office in November has culminated in the suspended death sentence delivered to Liu Zhijun on Monday for bribery and abuse of power.

According to the court's indictment, Liu, the former railways minister, was responsible for "huge losses of public assets". He also took advantage of his position to help 11 people win promotions or contracts and accepted 64.6 million yuan ($10.52 million) in bribes between 1986 and 2011.

The severe penalty meted out to Liu once again testifies to the leadership's determination to clean house and to improve the Party's public image.

Top leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang have shown grave concern on several occasions about the fate of the Party because of the threat posed by pervasive corruption, and they have vowed to show no leniency. Xi has also vowed the crackdown will include both "flies" and "tigers", which raised hopes that more high-ranking corrupt officials would be hunted down.

The intensive anti-corruption campaign in recent months demonstrates that China's top leadership wants to honor this promise.

On Saturday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC announced that Li Daqiu, vice-chairman of the Guangxi committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the local advisory body, was being investigated for "serious discipline violations", only days after announcing investigations into Guo Yongxiang, former vice-governor of Sichuan province, and Wang Suyi, former head of the United Front Work Department of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

In early June, an investigation was launched into the "serious discipline violations" of Ni Fake, former vice-governor of Anhui province, less than a month after the fall of Liu Tienan, former deputy head of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, on the same charges.

The string of ministerial-level officials that are being investigated by the disciplinary authorities or brought to justice makes crystal clear the new leadership's resolve to make headway in the fight against corruption.

However, while applauding the country's accelerated efforts to dig out more high-level corrupt officials, the public also hopes that there will be real soul-searching on the workings of the system, so that power cannot be abused so easily.

(China Daily 07/09/2013 page8)

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