China’s Xi declares an ‘overwhelming victory’ over graft-state media

FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping meets German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 10, 2018. Fred Dufour/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared an “overwhelming victory” in his fight against graft within the ruling Chinese Communist Party, while still vowing that the campaign to weed out deep-seated corruption will continue, state media reported.

Xi has pledged to wage war on graft until corruption of all kinds has been expunged at all levels of the Communist Party, from high-level “tigers” to low-level “flies”.

He proclaimed during a twice-a-decade meeting of the top party leadership in October 2017 that his fight against graft had achieved “overwhelming momentum”.

However, Xi announced at a meeting of the party’s Politburo on Friday that the fight had now obtained an “overwhelming victory”, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The shift from “momentum” to “victory” reflects an important judgement from the party leadership, CCTV said.

China’s powerful graft watchdogs handled 464,000 cases and punished 406,000 people in the first nine months of 2018.

“We must forcefully reduce the number of cases and effectively stop them from growing,” the Politburo said, according to CCTV.

Xi said efforts to overhaul China’s extensive anti-graft architecture must continue to modernise the systems of oversight for party members and state employees.

China’s new National Supervisory Commission was formally established in March, extending the graft fight to all state employees and giving legal backing to the party’s controversial internal investigation and detention techniques.

Some Chinese academics have voiced concerns that the reforms will roll back years of work by legal reformers to protect the rights of suspects during investigations.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Paul Tait)

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