Updated: 01/10/2014 21:15 | By Agence France-Presse

Over 180,000 officials punished in China graft crackdown

China's ruling Communist Party punished more than 182,000 officials last year in its high-profile anti-corruption campaign, authorities said Friday.


Over 180,000 officials punished in China graft crackdown

Chinese police guard the Shandong high court building in Jinan, east China Shandong province on October 25, 2013

Anti-graft authorities across the country last year received more than 1.95 million allegations of corruption and agreed to investigate 172,532 cases, said Huang Shuxian, a deputy head of the ruling party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, at a briefing.

Huang said that as a result, a total of 182,038 officials were given disciplinary punishment, which can range from a mere warning to expulsion from the Party or worse.

"Disciplinary authorities at all levels... upheld imposing punishment upon all the corrupt," he said.

Communist chief Xi Jinping has taken a much-publicised hard line against graft since coming to power a little over one year ago, warning that corruption could destroy the party.

Graft causes widespread public anger and Xi has pledged to stamp down on high-ranking officials, or "tigers", along with low-level "flies" to maintain the purity of the organisation.

At the same time he has mounted an austerity drive, with a range of measures including limits on banquets and bans on gift-giving.

So far at least 19 officials at vice-ministerial level or above have fallen since November last year, including Jiang Jiemin, head of China's state-owned assets watchdog, and Li Dongsheng, formerly a vice minister of public security.

But critics say no systemic measures have been brought in to curb endemic graft.

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