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China sends more anti-graft inspectors into military


China Military. PHOTO:

China Military. PHOTO:

China has sent a new wave of inspectors into its military to crack down on corruption, state media said Friday, as Communist chief Xi Jinping seeks to impose his authority on the People’s Liberation Army.

Ten teams of inspectors newly appointed by the Central Military Commission (CMC) will work among its 15 departments and the PLA’s five regional headquarters, the China Daily reported.

It is the first time the supreme military command has established a standing anti-corruption force directly under its control in its units, the newspaper said, and comes as Xi — who is also CMC chairman — seeks to increase his control over the PLA, a significant power centre in China.

The move is aimed at “purifying” the PLA, the paper cited an unnamed source as saying.

Since Xi took office in 2012, the Communist party has waged a much-publicised anti-corruption campaign that vows to target both powerful “tigers” and low-level “flies”. The drive has ensnared a long list of officials including former security czar Zhou Yongkang.

Xi vowed at a November military meeting to give more independence and authority to disciplinary inspectors and auditors, the newspaper said.

Previously anti-graft inspectors were chosen by local military commands and their lack of independence had undermined their efficiency, said Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert, according to the Global Times, which is close to the Communist Party.

But the new inspectors will make sure CMC orders are “faithfully carried out”, he said.

They are also likely to be reassigned every few years to “prevent collusion and bias”, the Global Times added.

The teams were sent by the CMC’s Discipline Inspection Commission, which was set up in January with a mission to “bust senior military officials”, it added.

Nealy 50 senior officers in the PLA and the armed police, including Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, the previous number two and three figures in the military after the Chinese president, have been convicted or investigated on corruption allegations over the past three years, the China Daily said.

China’s military has significant business interests in sectors ranging from property and logistics to telecommunications and healthcare, which have become a hotbed for corruption.

In March authorities ordered them to stop providing “paid services”, or commercial activities, in around three years.

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