China to step up anti-graft efforts for better economic development, says Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will step up anti-corruption efforts in state-owned companies and the financial sector to increase their economic contributions, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

The remarks from the politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party, come a day after party inspection teams concluded investigations into dozens of state-owned enterprises.

“(We) need to…promote those who do not dare to, cannot and do not want to (engage in) in corruption,” the Xinhua readout of the politburo meeting said.

“The meeting emphasised that (we) should continuously enhance the…core competitiveness of state-owned enterprises, and…increase the efforts of financial enterprises to serve the real economy and national strategy.”

The Chinese government has experienced a turbulent time with the disappearance of former foreign minister Qin Gang and defence minister Li Shangfu.

The vanishing of officials in China is often followed by the announcement of investigations into suspected disciplinary infractions but Beijing has yet to explain why Qin and Li remain out of public sight.

Qin has been missing for three months and Li for one month.

With tensions over Taiwan, the South China Sea, and over U.S. export controls that target the Chinese military and advanced tech sector, Xi’s rule has been marked by a focus on national security risks within the party, government, and large industries.

“It is necessary to…establish a mentality of red lines and (willingness) to be extreme, take effective measures to prevent and resolve major risks, and firmly maintain the bottom line of safety,” the politburo was quoted as saying.

(Reporting by Ella Cao and Liz Lee; editing by Barbara Lewis)