The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will start an investigation into “corruption and graft” within its institutions and the activities of its members, the country’s anti.corruption bureau said on Tuesday, in an announcement that is likely to intensify efforts to root out corruption within SCO members and the wider Chinese government.
The SCO is the world’s most powerful regional security body, which has a budget of about $400 billion a year.
Its members, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Japan and Russia, are not bound by any country’s laws or regulations and are able to engage in a range of activities.
The investigation will include an examination of how SCO institutions operate, as well as the scope and scope of the SCO’s activities, and whether members are subject to Chinese laws, the anti-graft bureau said in a statement.
“These are important steps that will assist the anti.graft office in determining whether members have violated the law,” the statement said.
“The anti.GOV (Anti-Corruption Commission) and the anti corruption bureau will be looking into the actions of SCO leaders and the extent of corruption in SCO bodies, including by members.”
China has long been criticized for its opaque system for electing and confirming its leaders.
China has repeatedly denied allegations of widespread corruption in its political system, saying that corruption is an exception and not a rule.
Many of the members of the Sino-U.S. and other regional organisations have been accused of graft and bribery.
In November, a group of journalists and human rights advocates were released from detention after spending months in jail after they were arrested on suspicion of having links to the corruption scandal.