China's top graft buster urges 'shock and awe' for offenders

Reuters
Chinese President Xi and Vice Premier Liu meet with the advisory board entrepreneurs from Tsinghua School of Economics and Management in Beijing
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd R) and Vice Premier Liu Yandong (R) meet with the advisory board entrepreneurs …

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top official battling deeply-ingrained corruption warned staff on Wednesday their jobs were on the line if they failed to root out abuses, telling them to "shock and awe" their targets.

President Xi Jinping, who took office in March, has called corruption a threat to the ruling Communist Party's survival and vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Speaking to officials ahead of a new round of probes in provinces and government departments, Wang Qishan, the plain-speaking head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, urged colleagues to spare no effort in rooting out corruption.

"Give prominence to discovering problems, strengthen 'shock and awe', not let those with issues think they can luck out and not give corrupt elements any place to go," Wang said, in comments published on his department's website.

He gave no details of tactics comprising the "shock and awe" measures, however.

Investigators this time round will fan out to six provinces and four government departments, including official news agency Xinhua and the Commerce Ministry, following a similar round of inspections begun in May, the watchdog said.

Members of the task force had to "earnestly shoulder the responsibility for discovering problems", Wang said.

"It is a dereliction of duty not to discover major problems which ought to be found, and it is malfeasance not to offer objective reports on problems that are found," he added.

The party has so far given few details of the outcome of the first round of investigations, in line with its secretive nature, though the anti-corruption watchdog publishes website reports of a steady stream of minor officials being probed.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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