BEIJING Feb 4 Authorities in China have warned
they will go after officials who cover up corruption, state
media reported on Tuesday, in the government's latest effort to
curb widespread graft.
The ruling Communist Party has shown no sign of wanting to
set up an independent body to fight graft, however, and has
arrested at least 20 activists who have pushed for officials to
reveal their wealth, convicting two and sentencing a third
activist to a jail term.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, an arm of
China's anti-corruption watchdog, said investigators should
probe the perpetrators of graft, besides supervising members of
the ruling Communist Party and local investigators themselves.
"Officials must investigate those responsible, as well as
relevant leaders' involvement, including within party committees
and discipline inspection committees," said a research unit that
is part of the disciplinary body, according to official news
"(They) must make clear whether a leading official took the
initiative to discover and resolutely investigate or ... was
derelict in duty or even concealed discipline problems or
shielded (violators)," it added.
In some cases, this type of corruption was not revealed
until officials were promoted, which "severely damages public
confidence in the party," it said.
But it was not immediately clear if the comments represented
policy or just guidelines, or what punishment awaited officials
found guilty of such shortcomings.
Like others before him, Chinese President Xi Jinping has
warned that graft is such a serious problem it threatens the
party's very survival, and has vowed to go after powerful
"tigers" as well as lowly "flies".
The government has sought to curtail everything from bribery
and gift-giving to lavish banquets, aiming to assuage public
anger over graft and extravagance by some officials.
In a bid to crack down on the use of foreign family ties to
illegally move assets or escape investigation, China said in
January that officials whose spouses and children had emigrated
would not be considered for promotion.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)