The Chinese Communist Party has approved a new set of rules that will increase the party’s control and supervision of corruption investigators.
The rules were passed last Sunday at the close of a meeting of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, or CCDI.
The new regulations are meant to standardize corruption investigations. They also set guidance for the anti-corruption teams.
However, some observers question whether the regulations will uncover corrupt investigators. Instead, they say, the rules will ensure that party members are obedient to the party’s leader, Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Rules cover investigations and those who carry them out
The rules are said to offer guidance on how to deal with information on corruption and how to review cases. They reportedly explain what investigators should do with financial assets or other property gained through corrupt activities.
Investigators also will be advised to keep audio and video recordings of their questioning of suspects or witnesses. The investigators are to keep records of those who ask questions about or try to interfere with their cases.
A report on the new regulations was published last weekend on the commission’s website.
A document about the meeting said, “Trust (in disciplinary officials) cannot replace supervision.”
This week, the deputy secretary of the CCDI spoke to the media. Wu Yuliang restated the desire of party leader Xi that officials continue their campaign against both “tigers and flies.” This means fighting corruption among powerful leaders and low-level officials.
Wu added that the party’s fight against corruption has gained “crushing momentum” and has made “huge progress.”
Wu said the party punished 0.43 percent of its 88 million members in 2016, an increase from 0.18 percent of its members the year before.
He said that, in the past 4 years, 2,500 corrupt officials who fled overseas have been returned to China. He said $1.25 billion worth of stolen money and property had been returned.
Wu was asked if China would develop a supervisory system that would act independently of the Communist Party. He answered that such a system would be ill-suited to China’s socialist system.
Jean-Pierre Cabestan is a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. He says the new rules deal with concerns that anti-corruption investigators have become too powerful.
However, he says it remains to be seen if the rules will better control CCDI members.
Cabestan says such measures do help Xi Jinping increase his power.
“The discipline inspection work is not only a kind of business to make party members and party leaders cleaner, but also (to) make them obedient to the current political leadership.”
In another move, Xi’s former speechwriter, Li Shulei, was named head of Beijing’s anti-corruption commission. The appointment shows that the Chinese president is seeking to increase his control of the party, according to Cabestan.
I’m Mario Ritter.
Joyce Huang reported this story for VOANews.com. Mario Ritter adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
standardize – v. to make a group of processes meet a standard, or a level that is considered acceptable
review – v. to carefully look over, to study or consider the qualities of something
momentum – n. the force with which something continues to move once it is set in motion
ill-suited – adj. not well matched
asset - n. a valuable person or thing; the property of a person, a group or business