Nearly 5,000 officials disciplined
By Xie Xu (Xinhua)
Updated: 2008-12-26 15:59

A total of 4,960 officials above the county-chief level had been punished since last November, the Communist Party of China's top discipline inspection body said on Friday.

The officials were involved in corruption, bribery, acting against public interest and other breaches of discipline or the law, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) deputy head Gan Yisheng told a press conference. Of those disciplined, 801 were prosecuted, he said.

Gan said that by this November, 144,000 cases were settled by discipline inspection and supervision departments at various levels, with 151,000 officials penalized.

Economic losses valued at 6.09 billion yuan ($889.6 million) were redeemed by these anti-corruption efforts, he added.

Those punished included former Beijing deputy mayor Liu Zhihua, former Sinopec general manager Chen Tonghai, former vice-chairman of the CPPCC of Henan province Sun Shanhua and former vice-chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Sun Yu.

Huang Songyou, former vice-president of the Supreme Court, was also on the list and remains under investigation. He was removed in late October for taking bribes and became the highest-ranking judicial official to be sacked on corruption charges since 1949.

"The central government is determined to crack down on corruption, and our work is making visible progress," Gan said.

"But we should realize that loopholes still exist, which means the anti-corruption drive will remain a tough undertaking for a long time."

New problems also arose this year. Two cases in which officials who overstayed their time in France occurred during the National Holidays, sparking speculation they might have been fleeing China after taking bribes.

CCDI Vice-Minister of supervision Yao Zengke said Xin Weiming, former deputy chief of Luwan district in Shanghai, had returned from Paris in early November and had been sacked from his post. Yang Xianghong, former Party chief of Lucheng district, Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, has yet to return. Yang has been removed from his official position and expelled from the Party.

Meanwhile, discipline inspections will continue tackling misconduct in fields such as education, healthcare and real estate, which involve basic public interests and are fertile grounds for officials' wrongdoings, Lu said.

Accountability systems will also be strengthened, he added.