BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Officials of the newly established supervisory commission of the coal-rich province of Shanxi have begun their work following the election of the commission's leadership by local legislatures.
Shanxi, Beijing and east China's Zhejiang Province are the first three to pilot this major reform of the anti-corruption system.
"The reform, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, aims to cover all people who hold public posts and resolutely fight against corruption," said Wang Yukai, professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance.
The reform offers new measures to improve the anti-corruption drive through rule of law and strictly governing the CPC, Wang added.
INTEGRATION OF POWERS
Endorsed by the country's top legislature, the supervisory commission is a national institution, parallel to the government, people's court, and people's procuratorate.
The commissions integrate the supervision departments and corruption prevention bureaus, as well as the divisions for handling bribery, dereliction of duty and prevention of duty-related crimes under the people's procuratorates.
In the pilot reform, provincial commissions will be set up by March, and branches at the city and county level should be established by June in the three pilot locations, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
According to a document of the National People's Congress, the commission will both investigate and impose penalties, with powers of surveillance and the right to summon suspects and witnesses for interrogation, restrict movement and freeze assets.
Experts said that the locations for the pilot reform had been meaningfully chosen. Beijing is China's political center, while Zhejiang is located in an economically developed region and Shanxi has been a site of mass corruption.
The commissions will help restrict the exercise of power and provide multiple measures to fully cover supervision over all employees in public posts, according to Zhu Lijia, a CAG professor.
Ma Huaide, vice president of the China University of Political Science and Law, said the commissions will pool anti-corruption strength and wisdom to form a centralized and authoritative system to comprehensively promote rule of law.
"The commission should explore an effective mechanism to cope with law enforcement departments and judicial organs, so as to deepen the anti-corruption fight," Ma added.
After the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, China stepped up anti-corruption work, cracking down on both high-profile and low-level officials across the nation.
In more than four years, more than 1.16 million corruption cases were filed and nearly 1.2 million people have been punished for violating CPC and government rules. At least 240 centrally administered officials have been investigated, with 223 receiving punishments.
In 2016, the top leadership announced that the battle against corruption had gained "crushing momentum."
In early January of this year, the CCDI vowed that China will maintain a tough stance on corruption in 2017 and consolidate the crushing momentum in anti-corruption.
It said that China will ensure the selection of clean and capable leaders for discipline inspection commissions at all levels.