The Communist Party of China (CPC) has sent inspection teams across the country to supervise ongoing elections of provincial authorities and ward off corruption in these power reshuffles.
Legislatures and political advisory bodies of the 31 provincial regions will elect governors or mayors for the regions, as well as heads of provincial legislatures and political advisory bodies during their annual sessions.
The sessions have have so far opened in 18 provincial level regions. Guizhou is the last province to usher in the political events on Jan. 28.
Inspection teams comprising members of the disciplinary arm and organization department of the Party have taken their places in many areas to watch over these events, which normally last several days.
They will accept tipoffs, use one-on-one talks, questionnaires, field surveys and private investigations in an attempt to secure fair elections.
The phone numbers for tip-off hotlines of the inspection teams as well as the CPC’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee have been made public on either the official websites or local newspapers, such as in Shanghai, Hebei, Xinjiang and Shanxi.
A communique was issued on Wednesday by the CCDI to reiterate the significance of serious efforts to ensure a corruption-free reshuffle.
“Illegal activities such as canvassing, buying and selling positions, bribing and inappropriate choice of persons are strictly banned and will be seriously dealt with,” said an inspector posted in Shanxi, on condition of anonymity.
Wang Yukai, professor with Chinese Academy of Governance, said the supervision teams have displayed the Party’s decisiveness to uproot corruption.
“Inspection into the election process at local political events could prevent the promotion of problematic officials and illegal activities detrimental to public interests,” Wang said.
Calling the inspection teams “a necessary complement” to the inspections conducted by local authorities in term of the selection of officials, Wang said the top-town inspections act as a deterrent.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee instructed the Party’s disciplinary arm on Tuesday to optimize its disciplinary mechanism to ensure that “people do not dare to, are not able to and can not easily commit corruption.”
“We must have the resolve to fight every corrupt phenomenon, punish every corrupt official and constantly eliminate the soil which breeds corruption, so as to earn people’s trust with actual results,” said Xi.
As the top-down inspections into provincial power reshuffles have been running for years, Wang Yukai said that the ongoing political events provide China’s new leadership with an opportunity to ferret out the flaws of existing disciplinary inspection mechanisms and to stage more efficient future combat against corruption in the selection of cadres.