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Anti-graft campaign targets poverty relief

China Daily, March 15, 2016 Adjust font size:

Cao Jianming, prosecutorgeneral at the Supreme People's Procuratorate, prepares to deliver a speech in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday. XUJINGXING/CHINADAILY 

Five-year drive will ensure that those who are in need benefit

China's anti-corruption campaign will include a new focus this year cracking down on the misuse and embezzlement of poverty relief funds, according to the top prosecutor.

The five-year drive is aimed at ensuring the poverty alleviation policy and special funding will benefit poor people in poverty-stricken areas, Cao Jianming, prosecutor-general at the Supreme People's Procuratorate, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

This campaign has been launched by the SPP and the Poverty Relief Office under the State Council.

Prosecuting departments will focus on investigating graft issues that involve exporting labor services, ecological protection, education and medical insurance, as well as minimum rural living allowances, Cao said.

They will also become "more aggressive" in going after officials at grassroots levels, such as those in charge of handling traffic in rural areas, hydropower, electric power infrastructure construction, and renovation of rural homes, Cao said.

The campaign comes after a keynote speech by President Xi Jinping at an anti-graft meeting in January, during which he promised to maintain the momentum at grassroots level to benefit everyone.

In recent years, a large amount in poverty alleviation funding has been embezzled or misused, seriously harming the public interest and people's legitimate rights. It has also led to a series of petition cases, which has affected social harmony and stability.

"We will try our utmost to punish those who abuse their power to embezzle, hold back, falsely claim or squander poverty alleviation funds," Cao said.

Since November 2012, China's leadership has conducted a sweeping nationwide campaign to pursue both "tigers", or high-ranking officials, and "flies", or lower-ranked officials at the grassroots level.

According to the SPP, duty-related crimes involving poverty alleviation funds have occurred at all levels but most of the corrupt officials involved have been at county level or below.

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