China's Xi embarks on dramatic corruption crackdown

BEIJING, China - President Xi Jinping is just two years into a 10-year term as China's leader, but he's taken dramatic steps to consolidate power by cracking down on corruption.

As of late September, 82,533 Communist Party members had been investigated. Some lost their jobs; others kicked out of the Communist Party.

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Xi Jinping
CBS News

And no one, no matter how high-ranking, appears safe from Xi's purge. Xu Caihou, a top general, was targeted last month. He was booted from the Communist Party after confessing to taking bribes.

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And Zhou Yongkang, once one of the most powerful men in the country, is also under investigation. The former security czar, who made a fortune in the oil industry, is accused of unspecified crimes. His whereabouts are now unknown.

But China has had trouble apprehending corrupt officials who have fled the country. At this week's APEC Summit, the Chinese government proposed more cross-border cooperation pursuing those outside of Beijing's reach.

It has gained the support of key countries - including the United States.

China's foreign minister Wang Yi met with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Boston last month.

"We hope countries can offer their understanding and support to China," Wang said. "And don't become shelters for the fugitives."

Despite the tens of thousands netted in this corruption crackdown, people here tell us that it's still just a tiny fraction of corrupt officials. No one quite believes that corruption would ever be rooted out, because it's such part of everyday life.