China’s top anti-corruption body vowed on Thursday to “firmly” pursue bad practices in the financial sector, days after a well-known Chinese businessman became the latest executive to go missing without explanation.
In a strong comment posted on its website, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) vowed to “seriously punish … to corrupt elements” in “resource-rich and capital-intensive areas,” including finance, state-owned enterprises, and grain-buying entities.
“We must resolutely investigate and address corruption where political and economic issues are intertwined, resolutely prevent leadership cadres from becoming spokespersons and agents for interest groups and powerful groups, and resolutely prevent political-corporate collusion,” he said.
The text suggests that President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is increasingly directed towards the business sector.
In recent years, CCDI corruption investigations have affected government and Communist Party officials, including members of the police and judiciary.
The abrupt disappearance last week of Bao Fan, founder of investment bank China Renaissance, sent shivers down the spines of the business sector and was the latest in a series of cases of Chinese top executives suddenly vanishing from public view.
The CCDI, charged with eradicating and punishing corruption within the 97 million-member Communist Party, is extremely powerful and operates above state oversight. The fight against corruption to push for the party’s “self-revolution” has been a flagship tool of Xi’s government since he became China’s supreme leader in 2012.
Xi’s fight against corruption has proved popular with a public that had grown fed up with widespread corruption, and has also helped him consolidate power by replacing rivals with his own loyalists, analysts say.