It has come to light that officials within the Chinese government have been charged and punished with crimes such as providing intelligence to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and participating in activities found to potentially be “harmful to national security.”

Fifteen officials of the Chinese government in central Tibet were charged with the crimes in 2014 and have since been punished. The cases were brought to light Tuesday by official Chinese media organization China News Network.

The officials violated political discipline, according to the Wang-Gang, secretary-general of 27th Commission for Discipline inspection committee, the body that uncovered the Chinese crimes. Wang said that the officials, “participated in an illegal underground Tibetan separatist organization,” providing information to the Dalai clique,” “funded activities that endangered national security, and committed other serious violations. The officials, including six Communist party members and civil servants, had been dealt with, Wang stated.

In addition, 45 officials had been found to have abandoned their posts or neglected their duties had been “seriously punished,” according to Wang.

Complaints about misbehaving officials in the Tibetan region were on the increase, according to the discipline commission — up 132 percent between 2013 and 2014.

The commission reported that “the struggle against the separatist situation [in Tibet] is still complicated and grim. The political stance of the minority party members and cadres is not firm, and work needs to continue to strengthen the maintenance of stability.”

Read more: China to increase urban population in Tibet 30% by 2020

Under Xi Jinping, China has undergone visibly heightened corruption investigations, including within the continually resistant region of Tibet, which has been ruled by the Communist Party since China invaded Tibet in 1951. Within Tibet, no Tibetan has ever been placed in the position of Party Secretary for the region.

By James Haleavy