Corruption among leading Chinese officials is falling, a top Communist Party graft-buster said yesterday, sounding a positive note during a rare look inside the body responsible for disciplining the party's 70 million members.
Chi Yaoyun conceded that corruption, considered by most Chinese to be serious and deep-seated, remained a problem, but said the party's determination to tackle it was clear.
"There will always be corruption, as long as public power and private interests exist," Chi said, a deputy director general with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
"But the Communist Party and Chinese government will firmly crack down," he said.
Chi said the number of corruption cases handled by his office was on the decline, but offered no figures.
China's chief justice said this spring 29,966 officials, both party members and non members, were indicted for corruption last year, virtually unchanged from the year before despite several high-profile graft investigations, including one that toppled the communist party chief in Shanghai.
Chi's remarks came during a first-ever tour of the commission's offices for foreign journalists, something Chi and other officials indicated increasing transparency in government.
No sign identifies the compound and the buildings within carry no party or government seals. Visitors are searched before entering the main, 15-story office building and photographs and voice recording are not allowed in rooms where files are stored or cases are being processed.
The commission is a powerful body headed by one of the eight members of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee. It's functions overlap with a government body that oversees corruption and administrative abuses among bureaucrats, the Ministry of Supervision. Staff hold titles in both organizations.
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