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Tigers and Flies: China Anti-Corruption Campaign

April 4, 2019

Soon after he was elected to the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 2012, Xi Jinping signaled that anti-corruption would be one of the themes of his tenure. Since then, his anti-graft campaign has grown into one of the largest campaigns against corruption in China’s modern history. Hundreds of officials including both senior leaders (“tigers”) and low-level bureaucrats (“flies”) have been investigated and prosecuted. Corruption has always been a serious issue for many countries. “Failing to tackle corruption will inevitably lead to the downfall of the party and the state”, emphasized Xi Jinping, at one of his first major meetings since taking the role. By highlighting some remarkable events, we hope to present a comprehensive picture of this country-wide anti-graft campaign and its characteristics.

Xi Jinping announced the eight-point regulation/code (八项规定) on a Party Central Committee meeting on December 4 2012, less than three weeks after the 18th CPC national congress.1 The document imposes restrictions on official behavior to strengthen the ties between the public and officials, whose malpractice including corruption and power abuse will have disastrous effect on public trust. The code requires officials to keep in close contact with the grassroots organizations, reduce bureaucratic visits, pomp and ceremony, and bans the use of luxury cars and other inappropriate extravagance.

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