China's corruption crackdown is so strict that even 2,400 anti-bribery officials were probed

China's wide-ranging crackdown on "bribery, dereliction of duty and other duty-related crimes" led to the investigation of a huge 54,000 officials in the last year alone, according to a new report.

Local news service Xinhuanet reports that Wang Qisha, chief of the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), gave the figure in a report published on Sunday.

There were 20,000 anti-graft cases concluded last year, around 16,000 for bribery and embezzlement and 4,300 for "dereliction of duty." 336,000 officials received some form of punishment and the anti-graft office received an immense 2.8 million tip-offs.

49,000 were probed for suspected violation of "the eight-point anti-extravagance rules" and even anti-graft investigators are not safe — 2,479 discipline inspectors nationwide were punished in 2015, Xinhuanet reports.

The figures are staggering, even for a country the size of China.

China's President Xi Jinping has been leading a wide-ranging crackdown on corruption and lavish spending by officials since coming to power in 2013. The crackdown is meant to boost morale by reducing the perceived divide between ordinary Chinese and party officials.

As my colleague Jim Edwards pointed out recently, the West's impression of the crackdown has been largely limited to seeing falling earnings for luxury companies that sell goods in China.But these figures show pretty starkly just how extensive the crackdown is.

As a History graduate myself, the stats on the tip line alone — 2.8 million! — call to mind China's Cultural Revolution in the 1950s and 60s when denunciations of liberalism or elitism were common and led to a huge death toll.

The latest crackdown appears relatively bloodless but it is no less root and branch. Top company executives have been going "missing" in recent months in connection to graft investigations. Chang Xiaobing, CEO of state-owned telecoms giant China Telecom, resigned shortly after he "went missing."

Source: Business Insider