Watch­dog: Sales of paint­ings, cal­lig­ra­phy cover up bribery

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to quit po­si­tions in art groups, in­clud­ing cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ing as­so­ci­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to the web­site of Peo­ple’s Daily.

Re­tired of­fi­cials are also pro­hib­ited from hold­ing po­si­tions in the as­so­ci­a­tions, the web­site said.

The Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion ex­pressed con­cerns on Wed­nes­day over gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials moon­light­ing in so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions and called for a crack­down on “re­fined bribes”, in which cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ing serve as a con­duit for cor­rup­tion.

China’s top anti-cor­rup­tion depart­ment also said that of­fi­cials in the Party com­mit­tees of the­Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport and in Shaanxi prov­ince have been mak­ing­money on the side, and that prob­lems in their man­age­ment re­main acute af­ter they were asked to ex­er­cise Party dis­ci­plines.

The com­mis­sion urged gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to im­me­di­ately quit po­si­tions in var­i­ous as­so­ci­a­tions and or­ga­ni­za­tions, and asked them to stop de­vel­op­ing “cor­rup­tion gangs” un­der the guise of in­sti­tu­tions.

In re­sponse to the call from the anti-graft body, the coun­try’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport rolled out a plan to pro­hibit its of­fi­cials­fromhold­ing po­si­tions in its af­fil­i­ated as­so­ci­a­tions, in­clud­ing the auto sport as­so­ci­a­tion and the mo­tor­cy­cle sport as­so­ci­a­tion.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion said it will sep­a­rate it­self from 16 non-sports as­so­ci­a­tions and carry out a na­tional re­form in sports man­age­ment.

In Shaanxi, cal­lig­ra­phy as­so­ci­a­tions still serve as a hot­bed of cor­rup­tion. Although eight of­fi­cials quit deputy po­si­tions in the pro­vin­cial as­so­ci­a­tion, some of­fi­cials still hold deputy po­si­tions.

Cal­lig­ra­phy has long been revered as an art in China, but works of cal­lig­ra­phy have been used to le­git­imize bribes from busi­ness­peo­ple who “pur­chase” pieces by of­fi­cials at ex­or­bi­tant prices.

When the anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog in Jiangsu prov­ince in­ves­ti­gated col­lu­sion be­tween real es­tate de­vel­op­er­sandJiang Guox­ing, deputy head of the press and pub­li­ca­tion bureau in the prov­ince, the author­ity found that de­vel­op­ers had paid 100,000 yuan ($16,250) for Jiang’s hand­writ­ing.

WANG FEI / XIN­HUA

Sun Yonggeng, a dis­abled driver (left), talks to a pas­sen­ger af­ter tak­ing her to a des­ti­na­tion in Urumqi, cap­i­tal of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion. To­gether with 75 other dis­abled driv­ers, Sun vol­un­teered to pro­vide free trans­porta­tion for cit­i­zens for three days af­ter a se­vere snow­storm hit the city.

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