The Chinese Communist Party will expel members for reading banned books, taking drugs or accepting bribes, state media has reported
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Bribery, drugs and prostitution cause “serious damage to the image of the party,” a government commission said
Members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will face expulsion for a range of offenses under new rules unveiled by the party’s disciplinary body this week. According to the rules, those caught reading banned books, soliciting prostitutes or taking illegal drugs will be booted from the CCP.
Drafted by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and approved by the politburo earlier this month, the new regulations are aimed at tightening the CCP’s “political discipline,” Chinese state news outlet Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
The CCP’s nearly 100 million members will face disciplinary hearings, warnings or even expulsion if they are proven to have read materials defaming the party or its history, or to have slandered the Chinese government and military, Xinhua reported.
Party members will also be expelled for taking illegal drugs or using the services of prostitutes, the report stated. Both are considered minor offenses under China’s criminal code but can cause “serious damage to the image of the party,” the CCDI said.
Tax evasion, embezzlement and bribery are also grounds for expulsion under the new regulations, with the CCDI now considering the acceptance of inappropriate gifts, speaking fees or consulting jobs as potential bribes. Furthermore, local CCP officials can now be expelled for “acting recklessly” in their jurisdictions or for refusing to implement policy orders from Beijing.
In a separate announcement on Friday, the Chinese government announced stiffer criminal penalties for bribery, too, targeting businesses and individuals who attempt to bribe CCP officials.
Since securing his third term in office last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped up his years-old anti-corruption efforts. Multiple billionaires and bankers were expelled from the party and jailed this year, including former central bank official Sun Guofeng, who received a 16-year sentence on Thursday for selling classified information, and former insurance chairman Wan Feng, who was handed six and a half years behind bars on the same day, for accepting 12 million yuan ($1.7 million) in bribes.
After a sweeping probe of the healthcare sector earlier this year, more than 180 hospital bosses were arrested for bribery, embezzlement, and fraud offenses.
Officials “should feel that auditing follows them like a shadow, and feel someone is watching over their shoulder at all times,” Xi said in a speech to employees of a state anti-graft watchdog in May.