Anti-corruption investigators in the central Chinese province of Shanxi have unveiled their latest target: anti-corruption investigators.
A total of 106 cadres in the Shanxi Commission for Discipline Inspection, the provincial anti-corruption instrument, were punished in what state-media called “self-surgery,” from December last year to March this year.
The announcement comes after a series of purges in Shanxi related to control of the coal industry, and the brother of the former top level Party official Ling Jihua.
China News, a state-run outlet, wrote, “In 2014, systemic, landslide-style corruption was found in Shanxi.” Top officials that were removed in the purge of the Shanxi disciplinary apparatus include its secretary, deputy secretary, a member of the standing committee, and its deputy director.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection orchestrated the purge, and sent two new leaders to take over.
The new cadres have cracked the whip: from last December to the end of February, the Shanxi anti-corruption bureau recorded 4,550 new corruption cases, concluded 4,511, and punished 5,131 people. Over 1,000 cadres received severe punishment beyond dismissal, reports said.
Shanxi’s widespread malfeasance attracted the attention of Ma Kai, the vice premier of the PRC, who called corruption in the province a “cancer.”
“If we don’t clear it up, it will result in poor selection of officials and great harm,” he said, according to the state-run China Daily. “Shanxi is conducting a sweeping anti-corruption drive with historical significance, which is necessary and regarded as a matter of life and death for the Party and nation.”
Apart from the purge of the disciplinary apparatus, corrupt officials have been eliminated from Shanxi’s Provincial Party Committee and its Political Consultative Conference, a faux advisory body, as well as through the bureaucracy.
All this was precipitated by anti-corruption activities waged against officials and businessmen whose interest were intertwined in extracting rents from the coal industry, which Shanxi is rich in.