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President Xi Just Took His War On Corruption To A Whole New Level

China Mao Zedong Xi JinpingREUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonA street vendor displays a souvenir with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong to visitors at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing November 8, 2013.

China’s President Xi Jinping has announced that his national anti-corruption campaign will now extend beyond individuals and begin investigating state firms.

This directive, says state media organisation Xinhua News, is a new priority in 2015. President Xi announced this change through a party communique on Wednesday, after the 5th plenary session of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

It’s impossible to overstate what this anti-corruption drive has done in China. It has claimed one of the highest government officials to go down since the days of Mao; It has changed the entire business landscape and changed the social structure of the world’s biggest gambling center, Macau; It has rich Chinese people worried about being flashy with their money; It has uncovered millions of dollars held by corrupt officials.

But the question remains whether or not this is totally about wiping out corruption. Some believe it’s about Xi consolidating power not merely under the party, but under him.

Here’s what the CCDI will be focusing on, according to Xinhua:

  • The top task for 2015 will be the tightening up of internal management and ensuring central leadership policies are implemented. The CCDI demanded that senior officials “toe the line” and that cronyism, fakery and sycophancy would not be tolerated.
  • All state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the care of the central government will be subject to inspections and supervision will be tightened on SOEs across the board.
  • The heads of Party and government departments, and state-owned enterprises will be held accountable for any serious corruption cases that happen under their charge.
  • The rooting out of harmful working practices, including abuse of public money and bureaucracy, will continue.
  • Officials in key positions who use their influence in infrastructure projects and public land deals, embezzle state-owned assets, or buy and sell government posts will face serious penalties.
  • Disciplinary inspection organs will strengthen international cooperation in the hunt for fugitive officials and asset recovery.
  • The CCDI will build a loyal, clean, responsible discipline inspection team. Incompetent inspectors will be replaced and those who look the other way would be punished.

This will get interesting.

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