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The Communist Party of China's (CPC) top disciplinary watchdog said Sunday that it had leveled penalties on 1.34 million local Party officials across the country, from the conclusion of the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 to the end of June of this year.

The officials were working at the town-, township, or lower-level and included 648,000 village officials, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a report.

The CCDI emphasized that this demonstrates the degree to which the Party has strengthened its governance at the grass-roots level. At the same time, there have been investigations of more than 70,000 officials, at or above the county level, for corruption since 2012, the CCDI said Saturday.

China's anti-graft campaign has gained momentum and has gotten applause from the public, the watchdog stated on its website.

Five years ago, China's new leaders announced the high-profile anti-corruption campaign, and it has resulted in the downfall of a number of high officials, referred to as "tigers," as well as lower-level "flies," officials at the grass-roots level.

In its drive to discourage undesirable work practices, the CPC came up with an "eight-point" rule on austerity in 2012, and the CCDI now issues monthly reports on the implementation of the rules by provincial-level governments, central Party and governmental agencies, centrally administered State-owned enterprises and central financial institutions.

China also joined the international community in the hunt for corrupt officials who have fled overseas, via a "Sky Net" manhunt system and other operations. By the end of August, 3,339 fugitives were captured in more than 90 countries and regions, 628 of them former officials.

In addition, around 9.36 billion yuan ($1.41 billion) was recovered, the CCDI reported.