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Documentary to help build more consensus on fighting graft

By Zhang Zhouxiang | | Updated: 2017-09-12 12:40

It was minutes before the central inspection team dispatched to Tianjin municipality held a working meeting. The staff members were silently scanning the meeting room with a special device to check whether people were carrying any detectaphone. And they succeeded in finding one: Wu Changshun, the municipal police chief who could take official detective measures against the central inspection group.

These scenes are not a figment of imagination. They are part of The Sharp Sword of Inspection, a five-episode documentary produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party of China's top corruption watchdog, and CCTV, which records how central inspection teams sent by the CCDI exposes corrupt local officials.

The documentary has caught the imagination of audiences nationwide since being broadcast on Sept 7. In other words, the documentary has achieved unprecedented success in terms of influence and won the praise of ordinary people as well as professionals.

The Sharp Sword of Inspection for the first time unveils the details of the anti-corruption campaign, such as the struggle between the central inspection group and Wu in Tianjin. Some people used to believe the corruption watchdogs' work is easy because they have the power and can investigate any case they wished. But the documentary has cleared a lot of false impressions. Audiences now know that anti-corruption officials, like ordinary people, also face dangers and hardships while probing a corruption case.

In a way, this revelation has helped ordinary people to better understand the officials who fight corruption. As Wang Yufeng, a member of the local commission for discipline inspection in Shulan city, Northeast China's Jilin province, wrote in August: "People's impression of anti-graft staff is constructed by each of us as a real person."

The transparent anti-corruption campaign and the rampancy of graft in society have also helped the documentary to gain popularity. The second episode of the documentary, for example, tells the story of Lu Enguang, former head of the political department of the Ministry of Justice.

The high percentage of false information in Lu's resume prompted many netizens to say that nothing in his resume is true except his gender. This conclusion is not an exaggeration because even Lu's age is false. Lu wrote on his resume that he had two children when in reality he has seven, And in order to cover the lie, he asked his own children to address him as "uncle" even at home.

Lu was promoted all the way up to the vice-ministerial post and his corruption case involved tens of officials. But despite the scandalous nature of his case, the CCDI didn't try to hide any information about it. Instead, the CCDI made sure Lu was punished for his misdeeds, and intensified the probe which led to the exposure of other officials.

Lu's case had sparked heated discussions in the media, and many editorials called for lending more support to the ongoing reform which is expected to strictly regulate officials. With all the five episodes being broadcast on TV, the documentary will help society build more consensus on rooting out corruption.

The author is a writer with China Daily.


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