BEIJING: About 440 senior officials of the ruling Communist Party of China have been probed in the last five years in a sweeping anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping, a party official said today.
Xi launched the high-profile anti-corruption campaign five years ago, which led to the downfall of a number of high-level officials, known as "tigers", and lower-level "flies" who serve at the grassroots level.
Among those investigated were 43 members and alternate members of the CPC Central Committee as well as nine members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), Yang Xiaodu, Deputy Secretary of the CCDI, said on the sidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress here.
Among the "tigers" targeted in the campaign were former security czar Zhou Yongkang, senior leader Bo Xilai, top Generals Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and party officials Sun Zhengcai and Ling Jihua. Ling was an aide of former president Hu Jintao.
Yang said more than 8,900 city level officials and over 63,000 county level officials were punished during that period.
A total of 278,000 grassroots party members and officials were also punished, he said.
China is working with the international community to catch suspects who fled overseas, leading to the capture of 3,453 fugitives, Yang said.
Among the top 100 fugitives listed on an Interpol red notice, 48 have been arrested, he said.
In his work report to the Congress, Xi who effectively used the anti-graft campaign to consolidate his position in the party and military said the CPC will secure a "sweeping victory" in its fight against corruption to avoid the historical cycle of rise and fall.
Calling corruption "the greatest threat", Xi said the fight against corruption never ends and currently remains grave and complex.
"We must remain as firm as a rock in our resolve to build on the overwhelming momentum and secure a sweeping victory," he said.
The Party will work for the adoption of national anti- corruption legislation and create a corruption reporting platform that covers both disciplinary inspection commissions and supervision agencies, he said.
Xi said China will set up supervisory commissions at the national, provincial, city, and county levels, which share offices and work together with the Party's disciplinary inspection commissions.
Supervisory commissions will be given responsibilities, powers and means of investigation in accordance with the law.
A national supervision law will be formulated.
Xi said this will ensure that supervision covers everyone in the public sector who exercises public power.