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Film may help intensify fight against graft

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-13 07:45

It was minutes before the central inspection team dispatched to Tianjin municipality held a working meeting. The team members were silently scanning the meeting room with a special device to check whether anyone in the room was carrying a detectaphone. And they succeeded in finding one on Wu Changshun, the then municipal police chief who could take official measures against the central inspection group.

This scene is not a figment of imagination. It is part of The Sharp Sword of Inspection, a five-episode documentary produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party of China's top anti-corruption watchdog, and China Central TV, which records how central inspection teams expose corrupt local officials.

The documentary has caught the imagination of audiences nationwide since being broadcast on Sept 7. In fact, it has achieved unprecedented success in terms of influence, and won the praise of ordinary people as well as professionals.

The Sharp Sword of Inspection for the first time unveils the details of the anti-corruption campaign, such as the struggle between the central inspection group and Wu in Tianjin. Some people used to believe the anti-corruption watchdogs' work is easy because they are empowered to investigate any case they want. But the documentary has cleared many of these false impressions. Audiences now know that anti-corruption officials, like ordinary people, also face dangers and hardships while investigating a corruption case.

In a way, this revelation has helped ordinary people to better understand the difficulties officials face in their effort to expose corruption. As Wang Yufeng, a member of the local commission for discipline inspection in Shulan city, Northeast China's Jilin province, wrote in August: "People's impression of anti-graft staff is constructed by each of us as a real person."

The transparent anti-graft campaign and the rampancy of corruption in society have also helped the documentary to gain popularity. The second episode of the documentary, for example, tells the story of Lu Enguang, former head of the political department of the Ministry of Justice.

The high percentage of false information in Lu's resume prompted many netizens to say that nothing is true about him except his gender. This conclusion is not an exaggeration because Lu even hid his true age. Worse, Lu's resume says he has two children when in reality he has seven, and in order to cover the lie, he asked his own children to call him "uncle" even at home.

Lu had been promoted all the way up to the vice-ministerial post and his corruption case involved tens of officials. But despite the scandalous nature of his case, the CCDI didn't try to hide any information about it. Instead, it intensified the probe, which led to the exposure of other officials, and made sure Lu was punished for his misdeeds.

Lu's case sparked heated discussions in the media, and many commentaries urged people to lend more support to the ongoing reform which is aimed at strictly regulating officials. After the broadcast of all the five episodes, it is hoped the documentary will help society to build a consensus on intensifying the fight against corruption.

The author is a writer with China Daily.

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