BEIJING: The fall of a top Chinese political advisor has yet again articulated the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) firm resolve to fight corruption.
Su Rong, vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, has been put under investigation for suspected disciplinary violations, the CPC’s internal discipline watchdog said in a statement on Saturday. He is the most senior Chinese official to be probed for graft since the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012. China is in the middle of a nationwide anti-corruption campaign which has toppled a swathe of government officials.
The campaign targeting both “tigers” and “flies” — metaphors for senior and low-ranking corrupt officials — is lasting longer and striking harder than many had anticipated. And to many people’s delight, the popular campaign has so far showed no signs of abating whatsoever. Speaking at a meeting on disciplinary inspection work in March, national anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan called for innovation in inspections to bring a “Sword of Damocles” to hangs above those in power as a deterrent. His words came with solid actions.
Over two dozens government officials at or above provincial- and ministerial-levels have been put under investigation, of which close to half were probed in the first half of this year. Undoubtedly, Su stands out from those crooks, for being the highest-ranking official to ever be probed. Born in 1948, Su was elected as a vice chairperson of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC in March 2013 along with 22 others. Just two weeks ago, he attended a top-level CPPCC conference in Beijing. He is also the fourth apprehended senior official with links to Jiangxi, where a major shift in the political landscape has taken place since an inspection team from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was dispatched to the eastern province in May 2013.
Chen Anzhong, former deputy director of the standing committee of Jiangxi provincial people’s congress, was investigated in December 2013, and expelled from the CPC and public office last month. Yao Mugen, vice governor of Jiangxi, was probed for suspected disciplinary and legal violations in March this year, and was removed from his post the following month. Zhao Zhiyong, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee, was sacked by the CPC Central Committee recently, according to a statement from the CPC Central Committee’s Organization Department.
And before that, Song Chenguang, former vice chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the CPPCC was sentenced to death with two years of probation for bribery in April 2012. All these developments are an emphatic showcase of China’s tough stance against corruption, and are sending a clear message: no one is above the law. But the CCDI’s probing of wayward officials is by no means enough to rid China of rampant graft, and it is with efforts to build a “cage of regulations” that the country can really sharpen its “Sword of Damocles.”
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