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Site sparks rush to air graft cases

Netizens are playing a larger role in the nation's anti-graft fight and flocking to a government website to blow the whistle on alleged corruption, says the top discipline inspection body of the Communist Party of China.

In the first month after the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC launched www.12388.gov.cn - a website to report alleged government graft - on Oct 28, accounts of corruption has topped 13,800. The commission released the figure yesterday to China Daily.

The website was jointly launched by the commission and the Ministry of Supervision.

It comprises all reporting websites of the nation's province-level governments and provides a platform for netizens to directly report alleged corruption to the commission.

"Hits to the website reached 19.2 million on the first day and the average number of hits has been standing at 1 million per day," said the commission's statement. "More than 70 percent of the 13,800 reported cases were under the CCDI's responsibilities, and (within the 70 percent) 45 percent are against officials at the county level or higher."

The province-level reporting sites have also become a hit with netizens, with Beijing, Guangdong, Henan, Liaoning and Fujian provinces each receiving 3,000 reports. Other province sites have received 500 to 2,000 reports each per month.

Senior officials in Beijing, Heilongjiang, Guangdong and Henan provinces have been punished as a result of online corruption reports thus far.

Based on online clues, an official surnamed Wang from the Heilongjiang provincial forestry department was found accepting bribes worth up to 20 million yuan ($2.94 million), according to the commission.

The commission also revealed that the nation is expected to introduce a regulation incorporating online corruption reports in the first half of next year. Details were not given in the statement.

The commission and the Ministry of Supervision actually began receiving online reports in 2005 with more than 210,000 reports since then, the statement said.

Zhu Lijia, professor of China National School of Administration, said the large number of reports demonstrates that social supervision over officials is expanding.

"Forty-five percent of the reports are against officials at the county level or higher, which suggests the potential corruptible rate among middle- to high-level officials is climbing," he said.

The commission said they have sorted out many clues from among the online reports and transferred them to related departments to handle.