Graft Watchdog Investigates Senior Inspector

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China’s top anti-graft watchdog announced Monday that a senior inspector has been put under investigation, as it steps up self-supervision in a bid to expose corruption in its own ranks.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a post on its official website that Zhang Huawei, a vice-ministerial level inspector from its 11th inspection team, is being investigated for “suspected serious violation of the Party’s code of conduct,” a phrase used when a government official is under investigation for corruption.

Zhang’s fall from grace could be linked to a recent anti-corruption campaign in the finance sector, people with knowledge of the matter told Caixin. Earlier in April, Xiang Junbo, the chairman of China’s insurance regulator, was placed under investigation and Yang Jiacai, the assistant chairman of the banking regulator, is also believed to be under investigation.

The inspection teams — dispatched by central authorities to expose suspects in organizations and provincial government bodies — are a powerful tool used to resolve internal problems of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The CCDI has compared the work of its 15 inspection teams to “a physical examination” of the party after the teams completed inspections in 27 out of China’s 30 provincial localities earlier this month.

Zhang’s case follows a similar investigation into former senior inspector He Jiatie, as the body has intensified its self-supervision since the beginning of 2017.

In January, the CCDI revealed eight corrupt senior officials in its own ranks during the airing of a film called “Fighting Iron With Iron” on state broadcaster CCTV. The officials were found to have leaked confidential information to suspects and taken money from officials and businessmen under investigation.

The violations exposed loopholes in the management of the CCDI including a lack of regulations and weak implementation of rules, said Wang Qishan, head of the CCDI.

The CPC also published a set of pilot work rules in January to bolster self-supervision, giving detailed instructions such as banning investigators from participating in hearing cases and setting the duration of an investigation of a suspect as 90 days or less.

By Song Shiqing

Caixin

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