China’s Anti-Corruption Boss Wang Qishan Says His Agency Needs to Be Cleaned Up

By Jenny Li
Jenny Li
Jenny Li
October 5, 2015 Updated: January 5, 2016

Wang Qishan has directed China’s anti-corruption campaign for a couple years. Some say he is the second most powerful man in China, second only to Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

Yet power corrupts, and this holds true for the regime’s anti-corruption authorities, among which thousands of officials have been found in violation of discipline.

In a late September meeting, Wang, who heads the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, stressed that the agency was no “holy land” and vowed to root out violations in its ranks.

He said that since the 18th National Congress, when Xi Jinping took power and when the anti-corruption campaign began, more than 3,400 officials in local Chinese disciplinary agencies have been punished. From the central anti-corruption commission itself, 14 officials have been sacked under Wang Qishan’s watch.

Offenders had committed crimes including violations of investigation and confidentiality protocols, or leaking information and manipulating cases for their personal profit.

The Commission has long been conscious of the issues; on Feb. 1, a web article titled “Strengthen self-monitoring and prevent blind spots” was posted to the agency’s official website. It identified five varieties of corruption among disciplinary officials.

In a previous speech given to the Commission, Wang Qishan detailed a plan to create an internal supervision group to monitor the rest of the anti-corruption agency and root out the “moles,” according to the Chinese media Duowei.

By “moles,” Wang might be referring to those suspected of ties to Zhou Yongkang, the former director of China’s powerful police and security forces. In 2014, Zhou was sacked and purged from the Communist Party, and this year he was sentenced to life in prison.

The case of Li Chuncheng, the disciplinary commission cadre in charge of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, illustrates the regime’s concerns. Li, the first disciplinary official to have been sacked since Xi Jinping came to office, was believed to be an ally of Zhou Yongkang, Duowei reported. However, another disciplinary cadre visiting Sichuan at the time of Li’s investigation was found to have “leaked information” about Li’s case. The cadre was later punished.

Jenny Li