BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- "The battle against corruption has gained crushing momentum," according to document released after a Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee meeting Wednesday.
The statement has a marked change from the tone set at the start of the year.
In January, a statement released during the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said the fight against corruption was "gaining crushing momentum".
Liu Dongchao, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the shift in wording demonstrated that China's anti-corruption campaign has made remarkable achievements over the past four years.
The CPC's disciplinary arm has ousted corrupt officials, from low-level "flies" to high-ranking "tigers" in recent years.
According to the head of the CCDI, Wang Qishan, more than 1 million people have been punished for violating CPC and government rules since November 2012.
Wang wrote in an article published in November, that 222 centrally administered officials have been investigated, with 212 receiving disciplinary punishment.
Meanwhile, the hunt for corrupt officials has even expanded overseas as China strives to hunt down its economic fugitives.
Over 2,400 fugitives have been brought back to China from around 70 countries and regions across the globe since the launch of operation "Sky Net" in 2014.
"These anti-corruption results have won support from the public, strengthening their trust in the cause," Liu said.
Echoing Liu's opinion, Zhu Lijia, also a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the updated wording also signaled that it has become a consensus of the Party and the entire society at large to weed out corruption.
Observers have said a new situation in which officials cannot and do not want to be corrupt is emerging, but that anti-corruption achievements are not just because officials are being punished.
"The new statement does not mean anti-corruption efforts will be relaxed next year," Zhu said, adding that the drive is expected to move into a new stage by cracking down on corruption cases that undermine and impact people's lives directly.
The statement stressed maintaining a "high-voltage" crackdown to stem undesirable work styles and corruption in 2017.
According to Liu, in addition to unrelenting efforts in the fight against corruption, the Party will now highlight the role of rules in preventing corruption.
Authorities have said there are three phases in the fight against graft: ensuring officials do not dare to be corrupt, institutionalizing the legal framework so it is not possible to be corrupt, and finally creating a moral compass so that officials do not want to be corrupt.
In recent years, the CPC has been productive in building institutions for the Party's strict governance so that it can address the symptoms and root causes of the problem.
Two new documents on the Party's code of conduct were approved at the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, namely the norms of political life in the Party under current conditions -- an update of a 1980 document -- and the regulation on intra-Party supervision.
The authorities stressed preventing paid promotions, and "zero tolerance" for corruption at all levels.
Greater importance will be attached to building institutions in the coming years, Liu said, citing a pilot program on reforming the nation's supervisory system.
Endorsed by the top legislature, the pilot will set up new supervisory commissions in Beijing, and Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces by integrating their respective governments' supervision departments and corruption prevention bureaus, as well as the divisions for handling bribery, dereliction of duty and prevention of duty-related crimes under their People's Procuratorates.
The ultimate goal of the move is to build a national anti-graft organ that can mobilize more anti-corruption resources.