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Military consolidates corruption oversight

Updated: 2014-07-11 07:32
By An Baijie ( China Daily)

Military authorities will step up supervision to identify and prevent corruption through stricter auditing procedures under a newly issued regulation.

Any military officer's misbehavior uncovered by auditors must be transferred to justice departments for further prosecution, and sentencing may not be reduced to light administrative punishment such as reprimands, warnings or minor penalties, under the new rule.

Military consolidates corruption oversight
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The regulation requires auditors to establish cooperative and coordinated means of working with judicial authorities to exchange information related to corrupt activities in the military.

The regulation, released on Wednesday, was jointly issued by the People's Liberation Army General Political Department, which oversees the promotion of senior military officers, and the PLA General Logistical Department, whose scope includes the administration of supplies and the construction of military camps.

It lays out procedures for auditors, including the process of transferring evidence of corruption to the justice authorities.

Zhao Keshi, a member of the Central Military Commission who also heads the PLA General Logistics Department, told Xinhua News Agency that auditors will keep a close eye on military assets.

Audits will be made of all kinds of expenses to prevent corruption, said Zhao, who is also head of the PLA auditing work group.

The PLA auditing group, established in 2012, has closely monitored expenditures of large amounts of money, such as construction projects, housing management, procurement and the operation of military hospitals.

The closer supervision has led to the removal of some military officers.

On June 30, Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, was expelled from the Communist Party of China over multiple allegations including accepting bribes from officers seeking promotions.

Xu, a former member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the Party's ruling authority, was the highest-ranking military officer to be the subject of a corruption investigation since China initiated its reform and open-up policy in 1978.

On March 31, Gu Junshan, former deputy head of the PLA General Logistics Department, was prosecuted for embezzlement, bribery, misuse of State funds and abuse of power.

Prosecutors seized four truckloads of assets, including a gold basin, a gold statue and numerous bottles of Moutai - a luxury brand of Chinese liquor - when they searched Gu's house in his hometown in January last year, according to a report in Caixin magazine.

Zhuang Deshui, a professor of clean governance research at Peking University, said a lack of transparency has made it more difficult for the military authorities to fight corruption.

Military judicial authorities should disclose more details of trials of corrupt officers, provided that national secrets are not leaked, he said.