China's military sets up anti-corruption hotline

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has set up a hotline for people to report accusations of graft and discipline problems in its military, the Defence Ministry said on Monday (Feb 15), in the latest effort to combat widespread corruption in the ranks.

President Xi Jinping has led a sweeping anti-corruption campaign targeting a swath of high-ranking officials in industry, government, and the military.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is reeling from the crackdown and has seen dozens of officers investigated, including two former vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou.

The telephone hotline, as well as a dedicated mailbox, will "fully utilise supervision by the masses" and complaints will be addressed in a "timely and earnest" fashion, a notice posted to the ministry's website said.

The public and members of the military would be welcome to participate in "the anti-corruption struggle", it added.

The hotline was set up by the military's graft-fighting discipline inspection committee under the powerful Central Military Commission, which controls the armed forces.

The move coincides with broader efforts to reform the military, as China is becoming more assertive in its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.

Serving and retired officers have warned that corruption in the military could threaten China's ability to wage war.