China Says 300,000 Punished For Corruption

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Beijing: China’s ruling Communist Party said Sunday that it punished nearly 300,000 officials for corruption last year.

The party’s official watchdog body said that 200,000 of those were given light punishments and 82,000 handed severe penalties, including demotions within the bureaucracy.

While many of those caught up in the crackdown are lower-level officials, China’s rulers have also taken steps to make high-profile arrests for corruption, like former security chief Zhou Yongkang and famed TV host Rui Chenggang.

The body known as the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection rarely explains its methodology or what evidence it considers, and no other details were given in the brief statement posted on its website.

President Xi Jinping has pressed a massive nationwide probe of corruption among officials of all ranks, including those in the party, government, military and state-run industries.

The results of the probe however have left more question than answers.

A case in point was the recent disappearance and reappearance of GuoGuangchang, often described as China’s Warren Buffet. The multi-billionaire was detained by Chinese police earlier this month, surfacing last week in New York, after trading in his Fosun International Trading conglomerate was suspended while he was out of circulation.

Guangchang is just one of several wealthy Chinese who have gone missing or been taken into custody in the last year as part of widening government probes into the securities industry and investment practices. Earlier this year, for example, Hanergy chairman Lei Heijun’s failure to show up for a shareholder meeting promptly wiped nearly $19 billion off the “clean energy” company’s market valuation and caused its stock to plunge 47 percent.

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