China aims to set up state anti-corruption unit next year

BEIJING, Oct 29 (Reuters) – China aims to pass a national supervision law and set up a new commission next year to oversee an expansion of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to fight corruption in the ruling Communist Party and government, the party said on Sunday.

The moves will be made during the country’s annual meeting of parliament early next year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party’s anti-graft watchdog, said in its report to a five-yearly party congress last week.

The report, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, had not been previously released, and gave few other details on the commission.

“All provinces, regions and cities must closely connect regional practices, integrate reform pilot scheme experience, implement the overall plan according to the decision of the party’s Central Committee, and promote organisational integration,” the report said.

The new National Supervision Commission will take over from the CCDI and merge multiple anti-graft units, according to an announcement last year. It will also expand the purview of Xi’s anti-graft campaign to include employees at state-backed institutions who are not necessarily party members.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi’s signature anti-corruption drive has jailed or otherwise punished nearly 1.4 million party members and he has emphasised the importance of improving China’s rule of law architecture.

In his congress address, Xi said China would keep up with the “irreversible” momentum of the anti-corruption campaign, and announced a central leading group responsible for overseeing China’s law-based governance.

Xi also said the party will scrap the practice of secretive interrogations known as “shuanggui”, in which cadres accused of graft and other disciplinary violations are routinely subjected to extrajudicial detention, isolation and interrogation by the CCDI.

The CCDI only hands cases over to police and judiciary for prosecution. International rights groups have raised concerns of torture, including sleep deprivation, being used to obtain confessions. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Catherine Evans)