An annual report by the Chinese Communist Party’s corruption-fighting agency indicates an increased crackdown on corrupt government officials in China.
Guo Yongfeng, founder of the Association of Chinese Citizens for Monitoring the Government, told Sound of Hope Radio Network that he believes the reported numbers and touting of anti-corruption effectiveness is just part of the facade.
“There is no CCP official who is not corrupt. Can anti-corruption figures truly prove anti-corruption? The CCP’s anti-corruption campaigns have always been a political struggle needed in order to play with power. Those in power conduct anti-corruption efforts against those who are disobedient or lack power”.
That the anti-corruption drive is a farce is evident from the relentless repression of anti-corruption organizations of the people.
Crackdown on “New Citizens Movement”
The four year prison sentence slapped on anti-corruption activist Xu Zhiyong in January 2014, has been condemned worldwide.
Xu Zhiyong, a liberal legal scholar, founded the New Citizens’ Movement in 2012, which sought moderate reforms to the education system and suggested activities for “New Citizens” to practice “New Citizen Responsibility” by rejecting corruption and by doing good for society; helping the weak and uniting to share and coordinate work. Despite being a peaceful activity, the New Citizens Movement irked the Regime by calling for Communist party officials to disclose their personal wealth.
Xu was arrested and was sentenced to four years of imprisonment on 23 January, 2014, for the guilt of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
Condemning the sentence, Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International stated: “Instead of President Xi Jinping’s promised clamp-down on corruption, we are seeing a crackdown against those that want to expose it. The persecution of activists associated with the New Citizens Movement has to end”.
Critics said that Mr Xu’s conviction showed the shallowness of the Communist party’s pledge to clean up the corruption that has infected every part of the Chinese government.
Party leadership’s cleansing of the old guard
As pointed out by Guo, the anti-corruption policy of the CCP is conveniently used to wipe out unwanted elements in the Party. The case of Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan investigation at the beginning of 2012 can illustrate this. Lt. Gen. Gu a former military logistics chief, accumulated a huge wealth through his military career as a corrupt officer in the armed forces.
Recently Caixin, a business magazine, reported that four trucks’ worth of loot were taken from one of the homes of Gu Junshan. Among the items being confiscated were a pure gold statue of Mao Zedong, a golden wash basin, and a boat made of gold.
Lt. Gen. Gu was promoted in the military by General Jia Tingan, a high-ranking Communist Party official. General Jia was for years a close associate and a top secretary to former president Jiang Zemin. The elimination of Gu Junshan might be a part of the new Party leadership’s cleansing of the old guard.
Confessions obtained by force
Petty officials provide easy targets to carry out the anti-corruption drive. Recently some cases of corruption investigation exposed that the party’s methods for extracting confessions are brutal and abusive.
Zhou Wangyan, land bureau director for the city of Liling was confined in the party’s secret detention system called shuanggui. He had refused to confess to bribery. According to his testimony to Associated Press, he was “investigated” by four Communist Party interrogators who beat him until his left thigh bone snapped. Zhou said he was also deprived of sleep and food, nearly drowned, whipped with wires.
While the method of treatment is unacceptable from the human rights point of view and legal evidences are not established systematically, it is not a case of addressing corruption but violation of human rights and absence of Rule of Law.