The Fifth Plenary Session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection: the new trend of anti-corruption

  China News Weekly reporter/Xu Dawei

  Issued in the 983th issue of China News Weekly on February 1, 2021

  The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China will be held in Beijing from January 22 to 24, 2021.

  At this plenary session, the CPC Central Committee made a new judgment on the current anti-corruption situation.

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, pointed out at the meeting that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, although historic achievements have been made in building a clean government and fighting corruption, the situation remains severe and complex.

We must be soberly aware that corruption, the biggest risk of the party’s governance, still exists, the stock has not yet been cleared, and the increase still occurs.

  In recent years, the CCP has continued to promote high-pressure anti-corruption, and new challenges are also emerging.

Xi Jinping pointed out at the plenary meeting that traditional corruption and new corruption are intertwined, and corruption is more hidden and complicated.

Several interviewed experts pointed out that this means that anti-corruption requires new ideas, that is, adopting different strategies for different fields and different types of corruption.

  Mao Zhaohui, director of the Research Center for Anti-corruption and Integrity Policy at Renmin University of China, told China News Weekly that after the plenary session, the core of anti-corruption work is to serve the construction of the "14th Five-Year Plan".

It is worth noting that this plenum marked the key directions of anti-corruption, and the anti-corruption work in the fields of finance, state-owned enterprises, politics and law will be further deepened.

The net in the fish pond is tightening

  In just 11 days at the beginning of the new year in 2021, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission issued disciplinary notices for 7 central management cadres.

Throughout 2020, the "Tiger Fighting" at the central level will also maintain a high-frequency rhythm.

According to data from the website of the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, a total of 18 central management cadres were investigated in 2020.

Of these 18 people, 3 hold important positions in ministries, 13 are local party and government leaders, and the remaining 2 are leaders of central enterprises.

  Ren Jianming, a professor at the School of Public Administration of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director of the Integrity Research and Education Center, told China News Weekly that corruption is also an "infectious disease", and a large number of "infectious phenomena" can be observed from individual cases.

  In January 2021, a feature film called "Clear Flowing Poison-Yunnan in Action" revealed a lot of details of Qin Guangrong's case.

Qin Guangrong, the former secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, is considered to be the biggest "pollution source" of Yunnan's political ecology, bringing "source-type" pollution.

In order to eliminate Qin Guangrong’s poison, Yunnan listed a detailed list of officials who were attached to Qin Guangrong, including Xu Lei, former chairman of Yunnan Urban Investment, Zhang Chaode, former director of Yunnan Provincial Taiwan Affairs Office, Jiang Xinglin, former secretary of Eshan County Party Committee, and Su A group of political crooks and brokers including Hong Bo, Yang Yongming, Shu Baoming, and Bai Jianli.

This is also the reflection of the officialdom subcultures such as Yunnan Shantou culture, "headman" consciousness, and circle characteristics in reality.

  Many scholars interviewed believe that such officials belong to a “critical minority” with high authority. Once they fall into the abyss of corruption, they will become potential spreaders of corruption.

In order to tighten the system cage, the National Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has established a system of "one case, one summary" for central management officials' duty crime cases.

  Anti-corruption is in a state of high pressure, and the reform of the discipline inspection and supervision system has quietly entered the deep water zone. The plenary communique of this time has repeatedly mentioned that the deepening of the reform of the discipline inspection and supervision system must solve the problem of the supervision of "top leaders" and supervision at the same level.

  Judging from the current system design, the secretary of the lower-level discipline inspection committee is nominated and inspected by the higher-level discipline inspection committee. While implementing a dual leadership system, vertical supervision has been strengthened and local anti-corruption leadership has been strengthened.

Ren Jianming believes that there have been some substantial changes in supervision at the same level.

He told China News Weekly that in terms of system design, the original dual leadership was based on leaders at the same level, and the superior discipline inspection system was only business guidance.

The current "one-based, two-reporting" system has made it necessary for local discipline inspection and supervision departments to report to the party committee at the same level when they are investigating and handling cases involving the local government at the same level.

However, Mao Zhaohui believes that the independence of discipline inspection and supervision departments is currently more reflected in the governance efficiency of specific cases, but in terms of the independence of daily supervision, it is actually still subject to the party committee at the same level, and the problem has not been resolved.

  In fact, this round of reforms did not simply use the Disciplinary Committee to supervise the party committees at the same level, but also strengthened the institutional arrangements for inspections.

On January 4, 2021, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission issued a notification that four central management cadres were sanctioned by the party discipline and government affairs.

Among these four “tigers”, Luo Jiazhen, former chief accountant of COFCO, and Hu Wenming, former chairman of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, were both investigated and dealt with based on clues discovered by the central government.

  According to the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, in 2020, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds of inspections of the 19th Central Committee will make new progress, and the completion rate of all inspection tasks will exceed 70%.

Ren Jianming told China News Weekly that the supervisory power of the central inspection team is like a sharp sword, but the inspection effects of each provincial level will vary, and the lower the level, the inspection effect will show a tendency to attenuate.

The plenary session proposed that it is necessary to promote the linkage of inspections and inspections, and give full play to the role of the party's supervisory sword and close ties with the masses.

  The oppressive force of the system created by high-pressure anti-corruption is forcing more and more corrupt officials to take the initiative to stop.

Li Yongzhong, the former vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Discipline Inspection and Supervision, vividly likened it to the fact that the nets in the fish ponds become tighter and tighter, and big fish and small fishes feel it.

Political and legal anti-corruption needs to be increased

  At this plenary session, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, emphasized that focusing on corruption cases where political and economic issues are intertwined, we should seriously investigate and punish people who are disloyal to the party and who are in violation of the law. Check it out with the "protective umbrella" involving gangs and evil.

  Data from the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection shows that, as the final year of the special campaign against gangs, from January to November 2020, a total of 29,600 cases involving gangs, corruption and "protective umbrella" issues were filed and dealt with nationwide, and party members, cadres and public positions were granted. Personnel party discipline and government affairs sanctioned 25,400 people and transferred 2,383 people to judicial organs.

  In 2020, Fu Tiegang, former secretary of the Tongliao Municipal Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Wang Zhigang, former inspector of the Shanxi Higher People’s Court, Li Zhuanghao, former deputy mayor of Yulin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and former director of the Municipal Public Security Bureau, and Mu Xiaofei, former member of the Standing Committee and Secretary-General of the Hanzhong Municipal Committee of Shaanxi Province, etc. "Umbrella" was knocked out.

As of the end of October 2020, out of 111 cases under the supervision of the Anti-gang Organizations across the country, more than 4,100 people were investigated and dealt with under the umbrella of crimes and corruption.

  Li Yongzhong said that justice is the last bottom line of social justice, and political and legal institutions are similar to the role of “goalkeepers”. The corruption of political and legal officials has caused serious consequences for breaching the bottom line.

  Wei Changdong, director of the Criminal Law Office of the Law Institute of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and vice president of the Chinese Society of Criminology, told China News Weekly that judicial power is most likely to be tempted and eroded in the course of its operation.

If the corresponding institutional norms, especially the norms that "cannot be corrupted," are not systematically constructed, then judicial corruption is very easy to occur.

  This characteristic is evident in some of the "old political laws" that have fallen from the horse.

In August 2019, according to the website of the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection: Zhang Jian, the former president of the Anhui Higher People's Court, was investigated for serious violations of discipline and law.

Zhang Jian has served in the political and legal system for a long time. He has served as deputy director and director of the Hubei Provincial Prison Administration, deputy director of the Hubei Provincial Department of Justice, and director of the Hubei Provincial Department of Justice.

In February 2008, Zhang Jian took up the post of executive vice president of the new Hubei Provincial Higher People's Court.

In January 2013, Zhang Jian, who had worked in Hubei for many years, was transferred across provinces to the Dean of the Anhui Provincial Higher People's Court and resigned in January 2018.

  According to a report from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission, Zhang Jian "offended the law in law enforcement and used the case for personal gain."

The notice mentioned that he arbitrarily intervened in judicial law enforcement activities, even illegally helped criminals involved in crimes with commutation, parole, retrial and sentence changes, undermining judicial justice, undermining judicial credibility, and taking advantage of his position in penalty enforcement, case trials, and business operations. For the benefit of others, and illegally accept huge amounts of property.

  "The underlying problems of law enforcement and justice, injustice, injustice, and incorruptibility hidden behind some typical cases have been exposed. The'encirclement hunting' is intertwined with being'encircled and hunted', the abuse of power is intertwined with the pursuit of personal gain, and the illegal handling of cases is intertwined with the transmission of interests. Wait for the corruption problem to surface. To this end, it is necessary to carry out education and rectification in the political and legal system, and have a self-revolution in the form of scraping the bones and treating drugs." An article on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection pointed out.

Zhuang Deshui, deputy director of Peking University's Research Center for Integrity Construction, believes that the political and legal system has special powers that ordinary government departments do not have, such as investigative powers and some special technical investigation methods.

If the political and legal system cannot strengthen its supervision and management, and abuse of these powers, it will not only cause harm to the people, but also damage the seriousness of the entire judicial system.

In the actual operation process, how to effectively supervise and restrict the use of political and legal powers still needs to be explored and strengthened.

 Financial anti-corruption continues to deepen

  Finance has been marked as a key area of ​​anti-corruption, and financial anti-corruption has received high-level attention for three consecutive years.

  At the plenary meeting of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection this year, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, emphasized the need to continue to consolidate the main responsibilities of financial management departments, regulatory agencies, local party committees, and governments, do a good job in the coordination of financial anti-corruption and financial risk handling, and strengthen financial supervision and internal supervision. Governance.

  Li Yongzhong believes that as the financial sector is a capital-intensive area, corruption is actually inevitable. “Fund is the blood of an enterprise. No enterprise can develop without capital. The financial sector is the most corrupt and deepest hiding place.”

  Beginning in 2019, the discipline inspection and supervision agencies have intensified their investigation and handling of corruption in financial institutions.

Li Boyan, a full-time review member of the Export-Import Bank of China, Wu Rui, former party committee member and vice president of the Sichuan Branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, and Wang Yingkui, former deputy general manager of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s corporate financial business department, were investigated for "worms."

According to a data from the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, more than 40% of the cadres of centrally managed financial institutions under review in 2020 are from banks.

  The website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection revealed that many of the leading cadres of the banking system investigated and dealt with in 2020 have a prominent problem: the use of credit approval power for personal gain.

For example, Guo Jizhuang, former party secretary and president of China Construction Bank Qinghai Branch, Ma Xiao, former party committee member and vice president of Bank of Communications Hebei Branch, Guo Lin, former executive committee member of China Development Bank, and Yu, former party secretary and president of China CITIC Bank Harbin Branch Cheng Xin and others all used their positions in credit approval and other aspects to benefit others and receive huge amounts of property.

  Leading cadres of some banking institutions still have the phenomenon of "relying on banks to eat banks and running businesses in violation of regulations."

For example, Ma Xiao, the former party committee member and vice president of Bank of Communications Hebei Branch, relied on the bank to eat the bank, runs a business in violation of regulations, seeks benefits by conducting business with this unit, and rents real estate to this unit in violation of regulations.

Guo Jizhuang, the former party secretary and president of the Qinghai branch of China Construction Bank, violated the regulations to invest in shares and take part-time jobs in CCB client companies.

  Li Xinran, head of the Disciplinary Inspection and Supervision Team of the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said in an interview with the media that some systemic problems were discovered when investigating a series of major cases including Xiang Junbo, the former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. The nepotism between teachers and students, colleagues, relatives and friends is intertwined, the risks of clean governance are easily contagious, the consolidation of interests is prominent, and the relationship between the supervisor and the subject is unclear, public and private, and it is easy to form interest groups."

  In recent years, anti-corruption efforts in the financial sector have continued to increase. The Lai Xiaomin case is one of the most representative cases.

On January 21, the Tianjin Higher People's Court publicly pronounced the second instance of Lai Xiaomin’s bribery, corruption, and bigamy case, ruled to reject the appeal and uphold the death sentence.

  Lai Xiaomin, the former party secretary and chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as China Huarong), embezzled as much as 1.788 billion yuan, which was called "the first case of financial corruption since the founding of New China."

Among the 22 crimes of accepting bribes, there were 3 cases of bribery crimes with amounts of more than 200 million yuan, 400 million yuan, and 600 million yuan, and another 6 cases of bribery crimes with amounts of more than 40 million yuan.

  On January 18, the website of the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection issued a document "Inspiration from the Work of Promoting Reform with the Case of Lai Xiaomin".

The article pointed out that Lai Xiaomin is a typical financial "expert" who has transformed into a financial "inner ghost", "turning a deaf ear to the deployment requirements of regulatory agencies, and even openly expressed doubts, treating state-owned financial enterprises as'private territory'. Under the banner of supporting national strategy. , Indiscriminately establishing institutions, blindly issuing bonds, and investing raised funds in real estate and other industries that are clearly restricted by national policies, seriously deviating from the company’s main business development needs, and eventually alienating from a disposer of non-performing assets to a manufacturer of non-performing assets."

  The article also pointed out that "Lai Xiaomin and Huarong company executives, supervisors, etc. conspired to commit crimes together, investigate one, bring a string, and dig a nest."

In addition to the daily supervision of disciplinary inspection and supervision agencies, financial regulatory agencies have always been the "gatekeepers" in the financial field.

Wei Changdong believes that China's relevant financial supervision system is not yet complete. The formulation of financial policies, the operation of financial regulations, and the strictness of financial supervision directly affect the financial order itself.

  Mao Zhaohui believes that some cases have exposed the excessive power of financial regulatory agencies, and the reform of the financial supervision system does not depend solely on the supervision system itself, but often depends on other corresponding systems.

In 2020, the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will directly dispatch the discipline inspection and supervision teams to 15 centrally managed financial companies, including major state-owned banks, China Development Bank, CITIC, and PICC, and give them corresponding supervisory powers.

Wei Changdong believes that internal supervision is often difficult to produce actual supervision effectiveness. By dispatching a discipline inspection team, authority and close supervision can be achieved.

Increase pound to rectify compound corruption

  In 2020, an anti-corruption storm to rectify "coal-related corruption" has blown up in Inner Mongolia and other places.

  In response to previous corruption cases exposed by Xing Yun, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Yun Guangzhong, former secretary of the Hohhot Municipal Party Committee, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission issued disciplinary inspection and supervision recommendations to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requesting special rectification.

On February 28, 2020, Inner Mongolia held a special mobilization and deployment meeting for rectification of violations in the field of coal resources, proposed to "check coal corruption for 20 years", and recruited from the society including party and government officials and state-owned enterprise leaders since 2000 Illegal explicit or anonymous investments in coal mines, collusion between officials and businessmen, soliciting bribes, and acting as "protective umbrellas" for illegal mine owners.

As of the end of December 2020, a total of 869 coal-related cases have been investigated and dealt with in Inner Mongolia.

  Li Yongzhong believes that Inner Mongolia has been paying close attention to key personnel, events, and problems in the field of coal resources for 20 years. It is that the central government has used Inner Mongolia as an experimental ground for analyzing the stock of corruption. It will clean up the stock of corruption by "digging and digging" the stock account. Work and provide reference coefficients.

  This anti-corruption storm also exposed common corruption problems in the current resource sector.

  On January 21 this year, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate decided to arrest Wen Guodong, the former vice governor of Qinghai Province.

On the same day, the TV feature film "Right Wind and Anti-Corruption is by Your Side" revealed the inside story of Wen Guodong and the illegal coal mining in the Muli mining area behind him.

In the film, Wen Guodong stated that his relationship with the controller of an illegal mining company is like a "conjoined person", and he accepted bribes of tens of millions of yuan to "escort" him.

In addition, after accepting bribes, many cadres in the Muli mining area colluded up and down, and also designed two exclusive classic research routes to deal with the investigation and inspection of superiors to avoid exposure of illegal mining.

Under Wen Guodong’s “networking”, more than ten people including Li Yongping, former director of the Muli Coalfield Administration, Ma Shengquan, former deputy director, and Liang Yanguo, executive deputy director of the Qaidam Circular Economy Pilot Zone Management Committee, became a community of interests. Illegal mining provides protection.

  Zhuang Deshui told China News Weekly that the corruption of special resources like coal mines has the characteristics of monopoly. Corruptors monopolize the best resources and thus monopolize social interests.

This kind of field is systematically closed, forming a specific corruption network, and the interests within the network are shared, and finally a special interest group is formed.

  Corruption in the resource sector will also form a mixture of traditional and new types of corruption, and corruption is more concealed and complicated.

According to the investigation, Yuan Renguo, former deputy secretary of the party committee and chairman of the Kweichow Moutai Distillery (Group) Co., Ltd., had long held the power of Moutai sales, while relying on the "authorization of wine" to seek personal gains, while using the management rights of Moutai as a political support, Tools for fishing political capital.

In violation of the regulations, Wang Sanyun, former secretary of the Gansu Provincial Party Committee, Wang Xiaoguang, former vice governor of Guizhou Province, and their relatives handled Moutai management rights and increased quotas.

  Mao Zhaohui told China News Weekly that corruption in the resource sector is often a composite type of corruption, and economic corruption is often intertwined with corruption of local government officials and is complicated.

Many interviewed experts believe that in the field of resources, anti-corruption is still increasing.

The Fifth Plenary Communiqué of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection stated that “focus on investigating and handling corruption cases involving political and economic issues, focusing on areas and links with strong policy support, investment-intensive, and resource-concentration, and resolutely investigate and deal with infrastructure construction, project approval, state-owned enterprise reform, and public Corruption in resource trading, scientific research management, etc.".

  China News Weekly, Issue 5, 2021

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