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China's anti-corruption campaign gaining ground, says President Xi

The Communist Party Central Committee under President Xi Jinping remains determined to fight corruption, the state news agency Xinhua has reported. The anti-corruption drive should not be relaxed in 2016 Xi said.

China has been overcoming corruption, President Xi Jinping asserted on Tuesday.

"Party members should maintain confidence in the Communist Party of China Central Committee's anti-corruption volition," Xi said at an anti-corruption meeting with watchdog group, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The Chinese president said further that efforts to fight against corruption should not be relaxed in 2016.

A sweeping anti-corruption campaign

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection under Xi inspected more than 71,000 officials and imposed more than 23,000 penalties in the 2015 calendar year.

Recently, the campaign targeted senior military officials and state-owned companies, including

former vice minister of public security Li Dongsheng,

who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and

ex-oil executive Zhou Yongkan,

who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Furthermore, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said earlier this year that 14 generals were convicted of corruption or placed under investigation.

Operation Fox Hunt

According to the offical Xinhua news agency, the aim of Operation Fox Hunt is to "block the last route of retreat for corrupt officials." The operation, which was launched in July 2014, has been focusing on finding corrupt officials abroad.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated that between 16,000 and 18,000 former officials have fled China with at least 800 billion yuan (112 billion euros) from the mid-1990's to 2008.

Since Xi Jinping took over the reins of the Communist Party in 2013, he has vowed to fight wrongdoing, pledging

"zero tolerance" in the war against corruption.

smm/jm (Reuters, dpa)

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