China to set up national supervision committee

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Beijing moves to expand President Xi's anti-corruption campaign

BEIJING 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 China's annual meeting of Parliament next year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party's anti-graft watchdog, said in its report last week.

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

It also said former Chongqing Party boss Sun Zhengcai and a group of other top officials ousted for graft, including former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, were "schemers" and "plotters" out to further their own careers.

The official line on Sun and Zhou had been that graft, not politics, was the primary reason for their downfall.

Mr Zhao Leji, the newly appointed head of the CCDI, told the commission that it must secure a "sweeping victory" in the fight against corruption, and set up an institutionalised legal framework to make it impossible for officials to be corrupt, Xinhua reported.

Mr Zhao took over from Mr Wang Qishan as part of a leadership reshuffle announced at the close of the 19th National Party Congress of the Communist Party, which ended last week.

Mr Wang had been widely credited with the success of the graft fight. Analysts said Mr Zhao is likely to take a more institutional approach.

The new National Supervision Commission will work alongside the CCDI, sharing much of its power and resources, according to an announcement last year.

It will also expand the purview of Mr Xi's anti-graft campaign to include employees at state-backed institutions who may not be party members.

Since coming to power in 2012, Mr Xi's signature anti-corruption drive has jailed or otherwise punished nearly 1.4 million party members.

In his Congress address, Mr 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.

He said the party would scrap the practice of secretive interrogations known as "shuanggui", in which cadres accused of graft and other disciplinary violations are subjected to extrajudicial detention, isolation and interrogation by the CCDI.

The CCDI hands cases over to police and the judiciary only for prosecution.

International rights groups have raised concerns about torture being used to obtain confessions. - REUTERS