Cor­rup­tion will have ‘nowhere to hide’

Pre­mier vows zero-tol­er­ance stance, pub­lic re­lease of au­dit re­sults in fight against graft

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang pledged on Thurs­day to be con­sis­tent in fight­ing graft and to main­tain zero tol­er­ance to­ward cor­rupt of­fi­cials.

Pub­lic money and power should be reg­u­lated by law, Li said at a news con­fer­ence af­ter the an­nual ses­sion of the Na­tional People’s Congress, adding that the govern­ment will con­tinue to stream­line its ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses and del­e­gate pub­lic power.

The govern­ment will re­lease a list of ac­tiv­i­ties that re­quire govern­ment ap­proval as soon as pos­si­ble to set clear bound­aries for the ex­er­cise of power and to en­sure it is not abused, Li said.

“Cor­rup­tion is the nat­u­ral en­emy of a people’s govern­ment,” he said. “We must put the ex­er­cise of power and the use of pub­lic money un­der in­sti­tu­tional checks.”

The govern­ment will carry out com­pre­hen­sive au­dits in ar­eas people are highly con­cerned about, such as lan­duse trans­fers and min­ing rights trans­fers, Li said.

“We will take in­sti­tu­tional steps to en­sure that il­licit-profit-seek­ing be­hav­ior and cor­rup­tion will have nowhere to hide,” Li said

The Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, led by Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping, is fight­ing cor­rup­tion with firm re­solve, Li said.

“No mat­ter who or how se­nior an of­fi­cial is, if they vi­o­late Party dis­ci­pline and the law, they will be se­ri­ously dealt with and pun­ished in line with the law be­cause ev­ery­body is equal be­fore the law,” he said.

In the Govern­ment Work Re­port de­liv­ered on March 5, the pre­mier said that more au­dit re­sults will be pub­licly re­leased to fa­cil­i­tate su­per­vi­sion by the people.

“We will make our op­er­a­tions more open, im­prove the spokesper­son sys­tem and re­spond to people’s con­cerns promptly,” Li said in the re­port.

Anti-cor­rup­tion ef­forts were a fo­cal point of the an­nual ses­sions of the NPC, China’s top leg­is­la­ture, and the Chi­nese People’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence Na­tional Com­mit­tee, the coun­try’s top ad­vi­sory body.

Lyu Xin­hua, spokesman for the CPPCC ses­sion, told re­porters on March 2 that China is se­ri­ous about im­pos­ing se­vere pun­ish­ments on cor­rupt of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing high-rank­ing ones.

Last year, 51,306 of­fi­cials and 37,551 cases were in­ves­ti­gated for workre­lated crimes in­clud­ing bribery and em­bez­zle­ment — those fig­ures rep­re­sent an 8.4 per­cent in­crease in the num­ber of of­fi­cials and 9.4 per­cent in cases — ac­cord­ing to the work re­port of China’s top procu­ra­torate.

China’s ju­di­ciary pun­ished 210 prose­cu­tors in 2013 for vi­o­lat­ing laws and reg­u­la­tions, as part of an on­go­ing cam­paign to “erad­i­cate the black sheep” from the ju­di­cial per­son­nel, the re­port said.

Anti-graft au­thor­i­ties have also launched nu­mer­ous probes of se­nior of­fi­cials since the Party’s new lead­er­ship was elected dur­ing the 18th Na­tional Congress of the CPC in Novem­ber 2012. At least 22 of­fi­cials at the min­is­te­rial level have been in­ves­ti­gated.

Most re­cently, Shen Peip­ing, vice­gov­er­nor of South­west China’s Yun­nan prov­ince, was re­moved from his post on March 12.

The CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee put for­ward its “eight-point rules” in De­cem­ber to strengthen ties with the people by clean­ing up un­de­sir­able work styles — ex­trav­a­gance, for­mal­ism, bu­reau­cracy and he­do­nism.

In all, 30,420 people were pun­ished by the dis­ci­plinary au­thor­i­ties last year for vi­o­lat­ing those rules, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion of the CPC, the coun­try’s top anti-graft agency.

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