BEIJING Jan 4 China's top graft watchdog has
begun airing a three-part television series highlighting
corruption within its ranks, sending a message that there will
be no omissions in Chinese President Xi Jinping's war on
In nightly episodes beginning Tuesday the series reveals how
inspection officials traded on their position of power for
expensive gifts, such as pearls, designer watches and gold bars,
and cash bribes dating back to the 1990s.
"To Forge Iron, The Metal Itself Must be Strong", takes its
name from a 2012 Xi speech and aims to show there are no
blindspots in the Central Commission of Discipline and
Inspection (CCDI) investigations, the narrator explains.
At a meeting of high-level party officials in Beijing last
October focusing on internal part discipline, Xi stressed the
need for the CCDI to "clean its own door step".
In the first episode the narrator quotes commission head
Wang Qishan as saying that the CCDI "resolutely guards against
their being darkness beneath the light".
Xi has vowed to stamp out deep-seated corruption in the
ruling Communist Party, vowing to go after powerful "tigers" as
well as lowly "flies".
The "tiger" interviewed in the first episode, Zhu Mingguo, a
one-time graft-buster and former Guangdong representative of the
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said he
exploited gaps in the Party's oversight system while in power.
Zhu said he received over a thousand of bottles of expensive
alcohol as gifts and had received bribes dating back to the
1990s, stashing the money in his home.
He is quoted by the narrator as warning other corrupt
officials against attempting to destroy evidence or to flee
abroad, saying that such tactics will not work and will only
serve to make their crimes more severe.
Designer watches, pearls and gold bars are among the spoils
of other former inspectors featured.
The TV series follows the CCDI's first TV programme "Always
on the road", aired in October, 2016, that offered the first
behind the scenes look at China's most dramatic corruption
Since Xi come to power in late 2012, dozens of senior
Communist Party people have been jailed for corruption,
including China's once powerful domestic security chief Zhou
Yongkang, who was jailed for life sentence in 2015.
But as the number of high-profile corruption cases begins to
fall, the anti-graft campaign, which enjoys widespread public
support, has begun to shift towards lower level officials,
making almost anyone a target.
(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Michael Perry)