China investigated 10,840 government officials for suspected corruption during the first quarter of 2014 -- a 20 percent increase in comparison to the like period of the previous year.
According to data published Thursday by the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China, during the first three months of the year, 8,222 more corruption cases were investigated -- 24 percent more compared to last year -- in which 10,840 government personnel were involved. The Supreme People's Procuratorate of China is the country's highest legal supervision organisation.
Xu Jinhui, head of the prosecutor's anti-corruption and anti-bribery division, said the malpractices were based on the acceptance of bribe and misuse of public money. Xu also said that the organisation "will pursue suspects who want to escape justice".
Also, the organisation said that in the same period 3,073 people were investigated for negligence in duty -- an increase of 12.7%. These last few cases focus on the areas such as food security, environment protection and labour security. Out of more than 10,000 people investigated, 57 were of provincial level, according to the court.
Xu stressed that over the past year the supervisory body "has strengthened its efforts in investigating the cases and has improved efficiency". The year-old government of President Xi Jingping has been promoting a campaign for reducing expenses by senior officials and against corruption. These are considered as the main problems suffered by the country and the main reason for social unrest.
Xi said the campaign was aimed at both "flies" -- low-level officials -- and "tigers" or those in the highest positions of the Communist hierarchy.
Former head of the Chinese security services Zhou Yongkang is also among the highest ranking people being investigated. Although the prosecutor's office has not yet officially confirmed it is investigating Zhou, action has been taken against many of his allies.
According to media reports, these actions are narrowing down on Zhou, who till last year was one of the seven most powerful men in China.