Another year, and another prime-time documentary series from the Communist Party's top anti-graft watchdog is hitting mainland TV screens – this time detailing how the agency dealt with rot within its own ranks.
The three-part series, aired on CCTV nightly from Tuesday, reveals how discipline officers exploited their power over other officials – including those of higher rank – in exchange for cash and discounts on property purchases, among other bribes.
The watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, has become more powerful than ever since President Xi Jinping came to office and key ally Wang Qishan became the CCDI's head four years ago.
Discipline officials were so powerful they could intimidate higher officials, the series said.
Zhu Mingguo, Guangdong's former top graft buster who was given a suspended death sentence for corruption last year, said in the documentary that officials were afraid of the watchdog. "A discipline commission chief's views on an official or party member can decide his whole life," Zhu said.
As the anti-graft campaign has gained pace, officials have become more fearful of taking bribes, prompting many bribers to offer favours to disciplinary officials – who are considered immune from investigation – to advance their causes.