October 25, 2014 / 4:03 AM / in 3 years

China's top graft-buster says fight will never end

Former China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang attends the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s fight against deeply ingrained corruption will never end, the top official in charge of tackling graft said before a meeting intended to clean up business in the world’s second-largest economy.

Since President Xi Jinping launched his high-profile campaign against corruption upon assuming office last year, senior officials including powerful former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang have been removed from their posts and put under investigation.

“All these efforts have gained the support of the general public,” said Wang Qishan, who heads the ruling Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

“This is just the beginning,” he said, adding that the party’s anti-graft campaign requires “consistency, intensified supervision, discipline and accountability”.

The campaign for clean government “will never be concluded”, Wang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency late on Friday.

Wang made the comments while talking with overseas members of the advisory board of the School of Economics and Management at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University, Xinhua said.

“A clean government and a healthy and fair market offers the best soft environment for investment,” it paraphrased Wang as saying.

At the graft watchdog’s annual plenum held on Saturday, Wang said that party members, especially those in leadership roles, need to abide by the rules and put into action the party’s discipline because the anti-corruption drive is tough and complicated.

“The fight against corruption and the construction of a clean government is still ongoing,” a statement posted on the watchdog’s website quoted Wang as saying.

The party’s own plenum ended this week with vague promises to boost the rule of law, but made no mention of the disgraced Zhou.

The party announced in July that it had launched a corruption investigation into Zhou, following months of speculation about his fate, making him the highest-profile victim yet of Xi’s war on graft.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI; Editing by Michael Perry/Ruth Pitchford

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