41 Party mem­bers ex­pelled in Yun­nan

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LI YINGQING in Kun­ming andXUWEI in Beijing

Yun­nan prov­ince’s dis­ci­plinary watch­dog has ex­pelled 41 mem­bers of the Com­mu­nist Party of China for us­ing drugs, as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties launch an in­ten­si­fied cam­paign to fight cor­rup­tion and crack down on il­le­gal sub­stance use.

The com­mis­sion for dis­ci­pline in­spec­tion of the De­hong Jingpo and Dai au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture made the an­nounce­ment on Tues­day.

Among those ex­pelled were nine gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials or civil ser­vants, who also were dis­missed from their posts.

Another two re­tired of­fi­cials were ex­pelled from the Party and their pen­sion ben­e­fits were re­duced. The re­main­ing 30 were Party mem­ber in ru­ral ar­eas.

Lo­cated close to the so-called Golden Tri­an­gle, com­pris­ing parts of Thai­land, Laos and Myan­mar, one of the world’s ma­jor opium pro­duc­ing ar­eas, Yun­nan has long been rav­aged by crimes re­lated to drug trafficking and use.

In 2012, po­lice in the prov­ince seized 5.37 metric tons of heroin — 73 per­cent of the to­tal na­tion­wide — and 8.95 tons of metham­phetamine, 55 per­cent of the na­tion­wide to­tal, smug­gled over the bor­der with­Myan­mar.

Au­thor­i­ties in the De­hong Jingpo and Dai au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture en­acted a new reg­u­la­tion in­May that stip­u­lates that Party mem­bers whom po­lice have found to be drug users will be ex­pelled from the Party.

Drug use among Party mem­bers and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials is one of the lead­ing causes of cor­rup­tion in Yun­nan, said Yang Fuquan, vi­cepres­i­dent of the Yun­nan Academy of So­cial Sciences.

“To ex­pel the drug users from the Party could also send a mes­sage to peo­ple out­side the Party that au­thor­i­ties will con­tinue the fight against drug use,” he said.

Yang said the De­hong reg­u­la­tion should be­come a provin­cial-level reg­u­la­tion to fur­ther con­trol drug abuse across the prov­ince.

Gao Wei, a pro­fes­sor of crim­i­nal law and nar­cotics con­trol at Yun­nan Univer­sity, said that drug use could lead to dere­lic­tion of duty as it re­sults in men­tal dis­or­ders and emo­tional vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

“Us­ing drugs could lead gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to cor­rup­tion be­cause it leads to a large eco­nomic bur­den on of­fi­cials, and this can force them to ac­cept bribes,” he said.

Gao said the fact that a majority of the Party mem­bers who were found to be us­ing drugs are from ru­ral ar­eas also un­der­lines the dif­fi­culty of drug con­trol there.

“It also shows there is no dou­ble stan­dard within the Party, and those who vi­o­late Party dis­ci­pline should be ex­pelled, no mat­ter what po­si­tion they hold,” he said.

To ex­pel the drug users from the Party could also send a mes­sage to peo­ple out­side the Party that au­thor­i­ties will con­tinue the fight against drug use.” YANG FUQUAN VICE-PRES­I­DENT OF THE YUN­NAN ACADEMY OF SO­CIAL SCIENCES

Con­tact the writ­ers at liy­ingqing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn and xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn Li­uWen­wen in Kun­ming con­trib­uted to this story.

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