The Strategist

Over three thousand officials are punished for financial irregularities in China

12/23/2016 - 14:43

The National Audit Office of China held inspections in the public sector, and punished more than 3 thousand officials for financial irregularities. As a result, $ 23 billion have been returned to the budget in total. At the same time, the government is planning to commence checking military spending since new rules for audit of military expenditures come into force in 2017.

As China's National Audit Service reported, 3229 officials have undergone punishment for violations in the public sector this year. As a result of inspections, the budget received back 160 billion yuan ($ 23 billion). Report on correction of violations was presented by Head of the National Audit Office Liu Jiayi. Mr. Liu did not specify what penalties were applied to officials found guilty, but said that some of the cases were sent to law enforcement agencies. This means that the delinquent may receive prison sentences, not just administrative penalties. 

On Wednesday, China's Ministry of Defense released a statement, according to which the country's authorities intend to tighten financial control over procurement of the Chinese army since new rules of military expenditure auditing come into force from January 1. In accordance with these rules, all financial operations made by the military will have to be checked. As reported in a statement: "All economic activity in the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police, and economic responsibility of leading personnel must be checked and controlled." Auditors will have a broad mandate to collect and verify proofs, and will have access to bank accounts. All cases of violations will be handed over to the prosecutor. Auditors of senior officials, retired or reserve, will receive special attention.

The Chinese military structures will be secretly checked at the beginning of next year, during celebrations of the Western and the Chinese new years (1-2 January and week starting on January 27). According to the ministry, special attention in the course of checks will be given to facts of extravagance, waste, theft and disregard of orders. "We will make every effort to identify and correct cases of spending public funds on banquets, excess food and drink, travel and entertainment, adoption of individual visitors on public money, or drinking in violation of regulations," – reads the statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the fight against corruption in the army one of the main priorities of his policy. Recall that the anti-corruption campaign in China has been launched in 2012 after arrival of Xi Jinping to power. As a result of anti-corruption checks, dozens of military officers and senior officials have been arrested. Among them were former deputy chairmen of the PRC Central Military Council.

Since the beginning of the year, law enforcement bodies of China repatriated from abroad 908 people suspected of corruption, and returned 2.3 billion yuan (330 million dollars) of illegally derived assets to the country, wrote China Daily newspaper.

According to the newspaper, 908 people have been repatriated under a campaign called "Sky Net".

In addition, from the beginning of 2016 law enforcement agencies managed to repatriate 19 people from the list of 100 most wanted fugitives. Thus, 37 people from the list have been caught up to date. Among them, in particular, was most wanted corrupt Yang Xiuzhu that left China in 2003.


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