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China’s PLA beefs up anti-graft drive after series of scandals

Stung by a series of corruption scandals involving top Generals, China’s military has issued a new set of rules to beef up supervision to fight graft within the ranks to properly utilise the massive defence spending.

The new rules promulgated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came into effect.

It targets specific high risk areas like project construction and medical and weapons procurement where more than 90 per cent of the corruption took place in the military, an official with the military procuratorate was quoted as saying by the official media.

Human resources, finances and fuel management were also listed as key targets for monitoring by the PLA General Staff Headquarters, and the General Political, General Logistics and General Armament departments.

Forty-four “high-risk links” and more than 130 problems that should be tracked, as well as clear prevention measures, have been laid out.

“This can be considered as the actual start of anti- corruption work in the military,” Li Chengyan, director of the Research Centre for Clean Government Construction at Peking University, told state-run China Daily.

The new rules detailed 44 high-risk links and more than 130 outstanding problems. Such cases often involve high ranking officials, huge amounts of money and are often related to other cases, and all disturb order and damage the military’s reputation, the official said.

The new rules were backed by tightening of audit controls by Chinese President Xi Jinping over the PLA’s USD 132 billion budget which has been expanding rapidly every year.

Several high-profile officials have been arrested in China in the current campaign against corruption which has been intensified since Xi took over power last year.

The top leaders included Zhou Yongkong, who retired after serving as security chief in the previous administration, as well Xu Caihou, the retired Vice Chief of the Central Military Commission, the highest ranking PLA official in the previous administration besides a number of his associates.

The common crimes identified include embezzlement, bribery, unauthorised partition of state property, abuse of power, dereliction of duty, unauthorised trading of military real estate, the leaking of military secrets and other crimes that take advantage of one’s duty, the China Daily reported.

The new rules also put forward clear requirements on preventative mechanisms, warning and punishment system, as well as the functions of disciplinary, auditing and other relevant bodies.

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