[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 14:51 GMT
China steps up corruption fight
By Quentin Sommerville
BBC News, Shanghai

Yu Zhifei, sacked as general manager of Shanghai International Circuit (2004 file photo)
High-profile figures have been sacked in the corruption drive
China plans a new corruption agency after almost 100,000 party members were disciplined for misconduct last year.

Beijing is on an anti-corruption drive that has seen a number of senior Communist Party figures sacked.

In 2006, about 97,000 officials were found guilty of bribe-taking or breaching financial rules.

The figure is down on 2005. But despite the fall, most people in China, including the party leadership, believe corruption is endemic and rising.

The new national anti-corruption body will have offices in many of the country's far-flung provinces.

It's often there, far from the eyes of Beijing, that most of China's illegal land deals and bribery take place.

Poor track record

It's part of the latest anti-corruption drive, one that has seen the sacking of the top party boss in Shanghai, Chen Liangyu and a vice-governor in neighbouring Anwei province.

The country's top statistician has also lost his job, along with the organiser of China's Formula One racing contest.

Mr Chen hasn't been seen since his removal in September. He's the highest-ranking official sacked in over a decade.

He stands accused of illegally using part of Shanghai's pension fund for property speculation.

But China's Communist Party has a poor track record at tackling graft.

Previous crackdowns have failed and critics believe that without an enquiring free press and an independent judiciary, corruption in China will continue to spread.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific