Tue, 15 Jun 2021

Beijing [China], May 28 (ANI): A flurry of self-initiated confessions of corruption and accepting bribes has cast a shadow on Chinese President Xi Jinping's legacy ahead of the twice-a-decade party congress in 2022.

Nikkei Asia reported that the speedy execution of Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management, in January after he was found guilty of accepting 1.79 billion yuan (USD 279 million) in bribes had rattled bureaucrats.

Moreover, Qin Guangrong, a former Communist Party chief of Yunnan Province who was also found to have taken bribes, was sentenced to seven years in prison after confessing voluntarily.

The number of government officials involved in corruption cases who turned themselves in has jumped to 16,000 in 2020 ahead of the 2022 edition of the congress. The surge follows the discipline committee's January 2020 decision that officials who voluntarily surrendered would be shown leniency while promising harsh reprisals for bribery.

People voluntarily surrendering roughly doubled from just over 5,000 between October 2017 and the end of 2018 to 10,357 in 2019 and then climbed 54 per cent in 2020, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Earlier this month, a senior official in Shandong Province's political and legal committee surrendered to authorities, as well as of the chief procurator of Shanghai's Pudong district confessed to crimes, Nikkei Asia reported.

Some believe that reports of officials turning themselves in abound in state-controlled media is an apparent bid to demonstrate that Xi's grip on the party extends down to its lowest levels. Yet whether Xi's authority actually reaches every corner of the party apparatus is not entirely clear.

Last year, Shaanxi Province authorities failed to crack down on illegal building of villas in a national nature reserve despite repeated calls from Xi to take action.

Zhao Zhengyong, who served as party secretary of the province during the construction, was given a suspended death sentence and was stripped of his party membership and political rights last year over a bribery scandal, Nikkei Asia reported. (ANI)

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