Beijing: A day after outgoing President Hu Jintao warned of collapse of China due to endemic corruption, the ruling Communist Party on Friday said 6.68 lakh officials were punished for graft in the last five years.
During the last five years, 6.606 million complaints of corruption were received of which investigations into 6.39 lakh cases have been completed, outlining the scale of corruption at various level, Vice Minister of Organisation Department of the Communist Party told reporters here today.
"We have in the last few years established an all round system of punishing and preventing corruption", he said.
Inaugurating the once-in-a-decade leadership party meet yesterday here, President Hu said China and the Communist Party would collapse if corruption is not curtailed.
"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the Party, and even cause the collapse of the Party and the fall of the state," Hu said.
Meanwhile, outgoing Premier, Wen Jiabao who was maintaining low profile after revelations by New York Times recently that his family had accumulated USD 2.7 billion in the last 10 years he was in power told a group discussion of the Congress increasing people`s income, fighting corruption and enhancing the Party building are the focal tasks to be addressed in the next five years by the Party.
China must maintain a steady and relatively fast economic growth and push forward reform and economic restructuring in a bid to avoid instable, imbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable economic development, he said.
The political structural reform must be advanced simultaneously so as to improve democracy, safeguard social justice and fairness, protect the freedom and equal rights of the people and bring their initiative and creativity into full play.
"In the next five years or beyond, people are very much concerned about some issues that need our special attention," he said.
He said priority must be given to the anti-corruption combat because it is a matter of life or death to the Party and the country. To this end, institutional building should be strengthened to uproot graft and promote officials` integrity and clean government.
"We should make special efforts to consolidate and improve the Party`s leadership, enhance democracy, optimise the legal system and practice the rule of law," he said.
"China faces quite a lot of problems, especially the arduous task in reform and development. But I think the three aspects mentioned above are of great significance and pressing," Wen said.
Immediate tasks facing the incumbent government is to stabilise the Chinese economy and constitute reform plans on income distribution and compensation for expropriated rural collective lands, he said.