(From AFP)

Corruption cases involving three million yuan ($463,000) or more may incur the death penalty in future, Chinese authorities ruled Monday, signalling that officials could be executed for graft.

A bank clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes on bundles of 100 Chinese yuan banknotes at a branch of a bank in Huaibei

Under President Xi Jinping, the country has waged a much-publicized anti-corruption campaign vowing to target both powerful “tigers” and low-level “flies”, but no Communist Party official is known to have been put to death for the offense since Xi took office.

The Supreme People’s Court and China’s national prosecuting body said that bribes or embezzlement totalling three million yuan or more will be considered “extraordinarily huge value”, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Such offenders will be eligible for the death penalty if their actions had “extremely severe circumstances and caused extremely vile social impact and extremely significant losses to the state’s and the people’s interests”, Xinhua cited their joint “judicial explanation” as saying.

Capital punishment will remain an option for the courts — which in China are controlled by the ruling party — and will not be mandatory. Read More

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