Legislative, advisory assemblies sweep away corrupt officials in China

Legislative, advisory assemblies sweep away corrupt officials in China
Ling Jihua.

As a result of the widening national drive to combat graft, Ling Jihua, former vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and 12 other deputies have been dismissed or forced to resign since March 2013 following corruption investigations, authorities said on Sunday.

Thirty-four deputies to National People's Congress, China's top legislature, have also been stripped of their memberships for "suspected serious violations of law and Party discipline"-a term for corruption.

Ling was removed on Saturday, a CPPCC meeting revealed.

According to officials, 31 newly elected deputies to the NPC and 13 new CPPCC deputies will fill vacancies before the annual two sessions begin on Tuesday and Thursday.

"We should get rid of corrupt deputies, no matter who they are. Others will better represent the public in the performance of their duty to actively participate in discussions of major national political and economic issues," said attorney Li Wei of the Beijing Lawyers Association.

Since November 2012, President Xi Jinping has conducted a sweeping drive to fight graft. During the past two years, 47 deputies to the NPC and CPPCC have been dismissed or forced to resign.

Those stripped of CPPCC membership also include Ma Jian, former vice-minister of State security. Those dismissed from the NPC include Su Rong, former vice-chairman of the CPPCC; Jin Daoming, former vice-head of the Shanxi Provincial People's Congress; He Huazhang, former mayor of Suining, Sichuan province; and Liu Zheng, former deputy head of the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army.

"The dismissed deputies were mainly governmental officials, senior PLA officials and directors of State-owned enterprises," said one official of the CPPCC, who declined to give his name. He added that many of the dismissed deputies came from places hit hard by the anti-graft campaign, such as Shanxi, Sichuan and Henan provinces.

The People's Liberation Army meanwhile pledged to continue the fight against corruption in its education campaign.

Inspections and auditing will continue and corrupt military personnel will receive harsher punishment, the Central Military Commission affirmed.

PLA's Party leaders were told to address the negative impact on the army's ideological, political and organizational work of former CMC vice-chairman Xu Caihou's graft case.

The leaders were also reminded to ensure honest and transparent reporting on "personal affairs", and relatives and subordinates that worked closely with them.

Party representatives must fully understand the military countercorruption drive, so that they identify existing problems and address them in a strict and urgent manner, the CMC leaders said.

"Grey zones" and "hidden rules" must be eliminated.

More regulation on the power of Party leaders in the PLA was needed, and decisions on the selection of officers, major expenditure, construction projects and material procurement, should be made collectively by the Party committee rather than by individual Party leaders,

The education campaign, which started in January, is designed to promote honesty and discipline in officers.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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