China sends graft busters to more provinces, government departments

BEIJING Sun Nov 3, 2013 10:07pm EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has sent anti-corruption investigators to six more provinces and four government departments, the Chinese Communist Party's corruption watchdog said on Monday, in the government's latest move to tackle graft.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has dispatched inspectors to government departments that include official news agency Xinhua and the Commerce Ministry, the watchdog said in a statement on its website.

Other targets include the southern economic powerhouse of Guangdong, coal-rich Shanxi and the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Since taking office in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called corruption a threat to the ruling Communist Party's survival and vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Authorities have already announced the investigation or arrest of a handful of senior officials. Among them, former executives from oil giant PetroChina are being investigated in what appears to be the biggest graft probe into a state-run firm in years. These investigations are unrelated to this new round of probes, or the previous one, which began in May.

The May probes, which lasted through the summer and reported back in September, targeted five regions and five departments, including the poor southern province of Guizhou, the southeastern province of Jiangxi and coal-rich Inner Mongolia, as well as the state-owned China Grain Reserves Corporation and the China Publishing Group Corp.

The party has so far given few details of the outcome of the first round of investigations, in line with its secretive nature, though the anti-corruption watchdog publishes website reports of a steady stream of minor officials being probed.

Speaking to officials in October ahead of this new round of probes, Wang Qishan, the head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, urged colleagues to spare no effort in rooting out corruption.

(Reporting by Adam Rose; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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