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China probes almost 37,000 for graft

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Beijing - China investigated almost 37,000 officials suspected of corruption in more than 27,000 cases between January and November, state media said Sunday.

Out of the 27,236 cases, 12,824 resulted in “losses for the people” involving a total of 5.51 billion yuan ($0.9 billion), Xinhua news agency said without elaborating.

It cited a statement from the Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's top prosecuting body, which could not be reached for comment Sunday.

China's top prosecutor Cao Jianming told the National People's Congress parliament in October that 200,000 people had been probed for embezzlement or bribery between January 2008 and last August.

Communist Party chief Xi Jinping has taken a hard line against graft since coming to power a little over one year ago, warning that corruption could destroy the party.

He has threatened to stamp down on high-ranking officials, or “tigers”, along with low-level “flies” to maintain the purity of the party.

At the same time he has mounted an austerity drive, with a range of measures including limits on banquets and bans on gift-giving. - Sapa-AFP


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