[BEIJING] Chinese authorities will hunt down individuals and organisations which engage in serial bribery, especially in cases which cause serious public anger or accidents, state media said on Wednesday, as the government takes on deep-rooted graft.
The country's top prosecutor, as part of broader efforts to fight corruption, will focus on "enormous, long-term and serial"bribery as part of a new campaign it is leading, the official Xinhua news agency said.
"(We must) seriously punish bribery which occurs in the selection of officials, and seriously punish bribery which severely harms the people's interests and leads to mass incidents or serious accidents," Xinhua said, citing a meeting held by the prosecutor.
About 90,000 "mass incidents", a euphemism for protests, occur each year in China, triggered by corruption, pollution, illegal land grabs and other grievances. "(We must) increase expropriations for illegal income from bribery, raise the cost of the crime of bribery, and bring shock and awe," the report added.
Another focus will be to go after corrupt officials accused of bribery who have fled abroad, Xinhua said.
President Xi Jinping has embarked on a sweeping campaign against deep-seated graft since taking office two years ago, vowing to take down powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".
Many of the senior officials who have been felled, including the powerful former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, have been implicated in bribery as part of the accusations against them.