BEIJING, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The central committee of China's Communist party warned official corruption remains a "critical" problem in the country and must be fought.
A five-year plan through 2017 issued Wednesday by the party central committee to crack down on corruption said: "If the problems of work styles and corruption are not handled properly, they will critically harm the party, and even lead the party or nation to perish," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
China's new leadership led by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, which came to power after the party congress in November 2012, has already made fighting corruption and checking government waste one of its main goals.
The party punished about 108,000 officials in the first nine months of this year, Xinhua said, but gave no details.
The five-year plan said all cases must be investigated and the guilty punished more severely to deter others.
Under it, intra-party supervision will be strengthened and extra effort made to regulate the use of power, Xinhua said. Officials will be required to submit reports annually about their clean governance. Anti-graft education will be stressed for all party members and officials.
"Corruption is still common. The soil that nourishes corruption still exists. The situation remains critical and complicated," the plan said.
The party said the campaign must go after both high and low corrupt officials, referring to them as "tigers" and "flies." It said the plan also must target harmful work styles, which become hotbeds for corruption.
Authorities will also expand pilot projects requiring newly nominated officials to disclose their private assets, China Daily reported.
The plan called for particular attention to be paid during protests and to accidents like mine disasters that occur because of corrupt officials.
"The report showcases the party's resolution in combating corruption in the next five years, focusing on both solving problems on the surface and eradicating their roots," Ma Huaide, vice president of China University of Political Science and Law, told Xinhua.
The plan said efforts should also be made to deal with cases involving power-for-money deals, judicial corruption, major violations of political discipline, and commercial bribery.
"Top-level design is a must if we want the anti-corruption drive to be efficient," Professor Jiang Ming'an at the Peking University's law school told Xinhua. He said the plan is strong enough to ensure officials dare not indulge in corruption.
The announcement of the new plan comes as the party dismissed Li Dongsheng, a senior security official, from all his posts for "suspected serious disciplinary violations," which usually refer to corruption charges.