File photo: Xinhua
China has released a new political documentary on the country's anti-corruption campaign, highlighting the use of inspections as a tool to boost clean Party rule.
China Central Television (CCTV) began airing the five-episode documentary, Sharp Sword of Inspection, on Thursday, with one episode to be shown a day. The first episode has received over 1 million views online since the broadcast.
The documentary was co-produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and CCTV.
China has released at least three political documentaries ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), including Major-Country Diplomacy, Rule of Law in China and Carrying the Reform through to the End.
Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times on Friday that the documentary discussed the use of inspections because they are unique tools for Party discipline, as most of the high-level corrupt officials were discovered through inspections.
"Airing this documentary sends a signal that the anti-corruption campaign will continue with similar intensity after the 19th Party congress," Zhu said.
In the first episode of Sharp Sword of Inspection, former Party chief of Northwest China's Liaoning Province Wang Min said that whenever a provincial Party discipline official came to him for his signature to prosecute an alleged corrupt official, he would instead try to persuade that discipline official to go easy on the prosecution.
The episode said Wang not only indulged fellow officials who received money, he himself had accepted bribes from businessmen and helped them get nominated as deputies to the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.
Wang, 67, was sentenced to life in prison this year for bribery, embezzlement and dereliction of duty. He was found guilty for his role in an election scandal where 45 legislators in Liaoning Province were expelled for vote-buying.
Liu Weijia, then deputy head of the CCDI's third inspection team, said in the documentary that he had received directives from the Party's central committee to investigate election fraud in Liaoning Province.
His team is said to have retrieved and studied a great number of documents, logs and other paperwork to find clues that eventually led to Wang's arrest.
In a separate instance, a CCDI inspection team sent to Tianjin received over 10,000 letters and phone calls on Wu Changshun, former director of the Tianjin Public Security Bureau.
Given the sensitivity of Wu's post, the inspection team had to use anti-espionage methods to look for bugs in their meeting room or dormitory to make sure their investigation were not disturbed.
Wu was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve in May 2017 for corruption. He had been secretly running multiple companies through his friends and relatives while working as a public servant.
Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Friday that inspections after the 18th Party congress had evolved.
"The inspections began to cover not only provincial governments, but also the military, State-owned enterprises and educational institutions. The inspections used to be spot checks, but after the 18th Party congress, it became a more comprehensive examination," Su said.
According to the documentary, the 12 rounds of inspection since the 18th Party congress had processed over 1.5 million letters and visits, conducted 53,000 interviews with both whistleblowers and corrupt officials, and discovered 8,200 issues.