China Punished Over 600,000 Officials in 2021 Amid Xi's Corruption Clampdown
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China punished more than 600,000 officials in 2021 amid Xi Jinping's clampdown on corruption and misconduct
Lower-level party officials made up the bulk of the officials punished last year in Chinese leader Xi Jinping's anti-corruption crackdown. Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images
- China last year punished 627,000 officials for "violating Communist Party discipline and laws."
- Of this number, the majority of those disciplined were lower-level officials in farming communities.
- This news follows a vow from China's top disciplinary board last week to show "no mercy" to those who violate Party regulations.
As Beijing faces the intense spotlight of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, China's Communist Party released a new report revealing it punished 627,000 officials last year for "violating Communist Party discipline and laws."
The CCP disciplined around 414,000 lower-level party officials working in farming and agriculture-level enterprises in 2021, per statistics released by the Communist Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission last week.
According to the report, only 36 higher-level provincial party cadres and cabinet-level officials were involved in misconduct cases.
The number of Communist Party officials taken to task in 2021 slightly increased from the 604,000 people disciplined in 2020.
Communist Party members who are suspected of corruption-related crimes and lapses are referred to discipline inspection commissions. These tribunals issue a gamut of disciplinary sanctions, ranging from warnings and firings to expulsion from the Party.
Some notable instances of disciplinary action taken last year included punishments meted out to 47 officials across Zhangjiajie and Nanjing for their failure to control the outbreak of a cluster of COVID-19 Delta variant infections. Officials in Xi'an are also facing disciplinary action for "not doing a good job" to manage the COVID-19 outbreak there, which led to the city's 13 million residents enduring a multi-week lockdown.
Under Chinese leader Xi Jinping, China has been enacting clampdowns and disciplining officials in what it says is a drive to root out corruption in its government. In 2016, the Chinese government announced that it had punished more than one million officials since 2013.
Such sweeping clampdowns on party officials are not likely to ease up. Last August, China's National People's Congress Standing Committee, the county's top legislative body, passed a law to give more power to local disciplinary inspectors looking into misconduct cases. This law allowed this corp of inspectors to file legal claims against anyone who might seek to obstruct their investigations.
Last week, the Communist Party's top disciplinary agency also vowed in a communique on its anti-corruption drive to show "no mercy" to those who "try to build political gangs, 'small circles' and interest groups."
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