Ex-China anti-graft czar warns against political corruption

Mr Wang Qishan said political corruption includes the formation of special interest groups to try and seize power.
Mr Wang Qishan said political corruption includes the formation of special interest groups to try and seize power.

BEIJING • China must become more vigilant against plots to grab power because political corruption is the worst form of corruption, a former top graft-buster said yesterday.

Mr Wang Qishan, 69, who remains influential and is a key ally of President Xi Jinping, stepped down in a leadership reshuffle last month after the Communist Party Congress, but could take on a new role, said sources with links to the leadership.

However, an announcement is not expected for a few more weeks.

As the feared head of the party's anti-corruption watchdog for the past five years, Mr Wang has spearheaded Mr Xi's fight against graft.

He has overseen the jailing of dozens of former top officials, including the former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.

Writing in the official People's Daily, Mr Wang said the fight against corruption went beyond the fight against the pilfering of assets or hedonism.

"Political corruption is the biggest corruption," he said.

Political corruption includes the formation of special interest groups to try and seize power, and the organisation of activities outside party parameters that are aimed at breaking party unity, Mr Wang added.

He cited some of the more notorious cases, including Zhou as well as Bo Xilai and Sun Zhengcai, the two one-time party bosses who were purged from the south-western city of Chongqing.

In these instances, the party "eradicated interest groups that mixed political and economic corruption", Mr Wang said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-China anti-graft czar warns against political corruption'. Print Edition | Subscribe