China to put former top anti-corruption inspector on trial for graft

William Zheng, South China Morning Post

Posted at Apr 27 2021 01:21 PM

A former senior inspector from China’s top anti-corruption agency is expected to face trial soon over alleged corruption.

State news agency Xinhua reported on Monday that the National Supervisory Commission, which investigates corruption in the ranks of government, had wrapped up its investigation into Dong Hong and his case had been handed over to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Before his downfall, Dong was a senior disciplinary inspector with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s top anti-corruption watchdog.

The decision to put Dong, 67, on trial was largely expected after reports that he had been expelled from the party earlier this month for “serious violations of the law and party discipline”, a euphemism for corruption.

In a statement, the CCDI accused Dong of having “totally lost his ideals and convictions … committed grave violations of party political discipline and rules, been dishonest and disloyal to the party, engaged in superstitious activities and intervened in disciplinary and law enforcement matters through illegal means”.

The CCDI also accused Dong of indulging in extravagance by “frequenting private clubs and attending banquets that might have compromised how he discharged his official duties”.

“The case is serious and its impact is far-reaching. He should be dealt with sternly,” the statement said.
Dong’s downfall was first reported in October and attracted attention because is a former personal aide to party elder Bo Yibo and worked under Vice-President Wang Qishan.

After graduating from Renmin University in Beijing, Dong joined the then general office of the Central Advisory Commission, a powerful bastion of party elders, in 1983, serving as an aide to Bo. He began to work with Wang in 1998 and was named a leader of a CCDI inspector group after Xi became party general secretary in 2012.

A political scientist from the Central Party School, where the party trains its top cadres, said that based on the official accusations, “it looks likely that Dong, as a disciplinary inspector from Beijing, leaked information to local officials, colluding to muddy investigations, or even helping the officials to get a promotion”.

Wu Junfei, deputy director of the Tianda Institute, a Hong Kong-based think tank, said Dong’s downfall indicated that the leadership wanted to “clear the backlog” in its anti-corruption drive so it would have “a clean slate” in making key appointments ahead of the party congress next year.

“As the congress draws near, I expect more [corruption] cases like Dong’s will be announced and be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” Wu said. “The better the clean-up, more stable the future team [of leaders] will be.”

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