10/06/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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China's bigwigs survive corruption probe of 74,000 Communist Party members

The campaign launched by President Xi Jinping against "tigers" and "flies" in the Communist Party has produced some results, but experts believe its primary purpose was to strengthen the president's personal authority. In 27 per cent of the investigations, punishment was meted out; the rest got a warning. "Princelings" were spared because of their loyalty to the leader.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Since it launched an anti-graft campaign in January 2013 prompted by President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has investigated about 75,000 of its members.

Now analysts and experts believe that the campaign is coming to a close. It climaxed without any princeling - children of leading party veterans - coming under investigation. Xi himself is one of them.

Citing data from party watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the People's Daily said that by the end of August, 74,333 of the party's 86 million members had been investigated, with 27 per cent punished. Others were disciplined or sent warning letters.

As soon as Xi Jinping became Communist Party general secretary, he launched an anti-graft campaign aimed at catching both "tigers" - top brass - and "flies" - lower-ranking officials.

So far, the campaign has brought down at least 51 provincial and ministerial-level officials, including former security tsar and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, and Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission.

But since that no "princeling" official has come under the spotlight, political analysts do not expect any more "big tigers" to be targeted.

"I don't think Xi will target any princeling officials because [they] are more reliable than senior officials who came from grass-roots families," said Chen Daoyin, an associate professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. The president himself is also a princeling.

In fact, he has "achieved the two key goals of his anti-graft campaign: enforcing his personal authority and winning public support," Chen said.

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