Chinese So­lu­tion to Cor­rup­tion

The ad­di­tion of su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions to the Con­sti­tu­tion ev­i­dences the im­por­tance of the new type of state or­gans in the na­tional gov­er­nance sys­tem and pro­vides guid­ing prin­ci­ples for fur­ther re­form­ing the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem and en­abling the su­per­vi­sor

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Text by Zhou Lei

On March 11, 2018, the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC), China’s top leg­is­la­ture, adopted an amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion. The bulk of the re­vi­sion is re­lated to su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions, which ev­i­dences the im­por­tance of the new type of state or­gans.

Us­ing ex­pe­ri­ence gained since the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign es­pe­cially af­ter the 18th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee with Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping at its core made the strate­gic move to re­form the na­tional su­per­vi­sory sys­tem—an im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal in­no­va­tion that af­fects the en­tire land­scape and re­quires ma­jor ad­just­ments of China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, power and re­la­tions. An in­no­va­tion in or­ga­ni­za­tion and in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion, the es­tab­lish­ment of a cen­tral­ized, au­thor­i­ta­tive and ef­fi­cient sys­tem of su­per­vi­sion over all those who ex­er­cise pub­lic power will cer­tainly pro­mote full and strict gov­er­nance over the Party and on­go­ing anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign. Heavy In­flu­ence

The amend­ment gives con­sti­tu­tional power to the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions, which is a ma­jor move in the re­form of China’s su­per­vi­sory sys­tem. Given early suc­cesses in some pi­lot ar­eas, fur­ther su­per­vi­sory sys­tem re­form is an im­por­tant in­no­va­tion in China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem re­form. It in­volves ma­jor ad­just­ments of China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, power and re­la­tions. The su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions—both na­tional and lo­cal—are cre­ated by the peo­ple’s con­gresses to which they are re­spon­si­ble and by which they are su­per­vised. The es­tab­lish­ment of the com­mis­sions en­riches and im­proves the sys­tem of peo­ple’s con­gresses, China’s fun­da­men­tal po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion, and re­in­forces CPC lead­er­ship and rule of law.

The defin­ing fea­ture of so­cial­ism with Chinese char­ac­ter­is­tics is the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, which has been right­fully writ­ten into the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion as the na­tion steps into the new era. Re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem aims to en­hance the Party’s cen­tral­ized, uni­fied lead­er­ship over the cam­paign against cor­rup­tion and form a cen­tral­ized, uni­fied, au­thor­i­ta­tive and ef­fi­cient su­per­vi­sory net­work. Since the 18th CPC Na­tional Congress, in­tra-party su­per­vi­sion has been strength­ened by dis­ci­plinary in­spec­tion tours and over­sight by res­i­dent dis­ci­pline in­spec­tion agen­cies at both cen­tral and lo­cal lev­els, cov­er­ing the state ap­pa­ra­tus, ev­ery so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion and all pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions. Through the re­form, su­per­vi­sion will cover every­one work­ing in the pub­lic sec­tor who ex­er­cises pub­lic power. While re­in­forc­ing in­tra-party su­per­vi­sion, it will also so­lid­ify the lead­er­ship of the CPC.

Also, fur­ther re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem serves as an im­por­tant mea­sure to mod­ern­ize China’s sys­tem and ca­pac­ity for gov­er­nance. China’s pre­vi­ous an­ti­cor­rup­tion mech­a­nism and sys­tem were not fully com­pat­i­ble with the re­quire­ments of its five-sphere in­te­grated plan and four-pronged com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy. The es­tab­lish­ment of the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions, which work to­gether with the Party’s dis­ci­plinary in­spec­tion com­mis­sions as one of­fice, can ef­fec­tively im­prove the

Party’s gov­er­nance and ca­pac­ity to uti­lize in­sti­tu­tions and laws, mark­ing progress in the coun­try’s ad­vance­ment of rule of law. Higher Ef­fi­ciency

The re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem will pool anti-cor­rup­tion re­sources and unify power to fight cor­rup­tion. Be­fore the re­form, an­ti­cor­rup­tion re­sources were pri­mar­ily dis­trib­uted to ad­min­is­tra­tive and ju­di­ciary bod­ies. This over­lap­ping man­age­ment mode en­abled par­tial peer mon­i­tor­ing and pre­vented power abuses but failed to op­ti­mally in­te­grate anti-cor­rup­tion re­sources and strength, which weak­ened China’s anti-cor­rup­tion ef­forts.

For ex­am­ple, the coun­try formed cor­rup­tion preven­tion de­part­ments both within var­i­ous gov­ern­ment bod­ies and through the procu­ra­to­rial ap­pa­ra­tus, which led to over­lap­ping func­tions and de­cen­tral­ized lead­er­ship. Ac­cord­ing to global anti-cor­rup­tion ex­pe­ri­ence, a spe­cial­ized or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to anti-cor­rup­tion work is es­sen­tial to ad­dress mis­con­duct. For ex­am­ple, Sin­ga­pore, France and China’s Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion all have a sin­gle uni­fied or­gan to han­dle cor­rup­tion.

The amended Con­sti­tu­tion em­pow­ers su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions to op­er­ate in par­al­lel with their ad­min­is­tra­tive and ju­di­cial coun­ter­parts. The amend­ment reads: “All ad­min­is­tra­tive, su­per­vi­sory, ju­di­cial and procu­ra­to­rial or­gans of the State are cre­ated by the peo­ple’s con­gresses to which they are re­spon­si­ble and by which they are su­per­vised.” This means that the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress will lead the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment, the Na­tional Su­per­vi­sory Com­mis­sion, the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court and the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate. And su­per­vi­sory power stands shoul­der-toshoul­der with ad­min­is­tra­tive, ju­di­cial and procu­ra­to­rial pow­ers, which will im­prove China’s bal­ance of power.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions can ex­tend their power to ev­ery au­thor­ity, from mon­i­tor­ing a “nar­row gov­ern­ment”

to a “broad gov­ern­ment.” Tra­di­tional ad­min­is­tra­tive su­per­vi­sion in the coun­try only cov­ers ad­min­is­tra­tive bod­ies and their of­fi­cials. But as the Party has strength­ened its ef­forts to build a clean and hon­est gov­ern­ment and new types of cor­rup­tion have emerged, the pre­vi­ous su­per­vi­sory sys­tem was un­able to cover ev­ery cor­ner, leav­ing sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic power out of con­trol. Af­ter the re­form, coverage of su­per­vi­sion ex­pands from all ap­pa­ra­tuses of the Party and the state to state-owned en­ter­prises and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tional and re­search in­sti­tu­tions as well as man­agers of grass­roots self-gov­ern­ing pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions, en­sur­ing all pub­lic pow­ers stay un­der sur­veil­lance.

The amend­ment also stip­u­lates that su­per­vi­sion meth­ods must be law-based to pro­mote a fight against cor­rup­tion gov­erned by rule of law. Ac­cord­ing to China’s su­per­vi­sion law, su­per­vi­sory or­gans must act within the law while con­duct­ing su­per­vi­sion, in­ves­ti­ga­tion and disposition. As the re­form of the na­tional su­per­vi­sory sys­tem deep­ens, the prac­tice of shuang­gui (an in­traParty dis­ci­plinary prac­tice that re­quires a CPC mem­ber un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion to co­op­er­ate with ques­tion­ing at a des­ig­nated place and a des­ig­nated time) will be re­placed by de­ten­tion, which solves a long-term le­gal bot­tle­neck and re­al­izes stan­dard­ized and law­based anti-cor­rup­tion op­er­a­tion. The ex­er­cise of su­per­vi­sory power must con­form to rel­e­vant reg­u­la­tions and ap­proval pro­ce­dures, guar­an­tee­ing the le­gal rights of the de­tained and keep­ing su­per­vi­sory power within the cage of in­sti­tu­tions.

Sta­ble Progress

By the end of 2017, re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem had been car­ried out in sev­eral pi­lot re­gions. Due to lim­ited time and dif­fi­cult tasks, the re­form has faced many chal­lenges. “Since the na­tional su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sion was set up, our re­form has en­tered un­charted wa­ters,” de­clared Xiao Pei, deputy sec­re­tary of the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion of the CPC. Re­form­ers must pay at­ten­tion to the meth­ods and means while press­ing ahead.

First, au­thor­i­ties need to in­te­grate ideas re­lated to ways and means to en­hance the skill and

pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the en­tire su­per­vi­sory team. Team mem­bers must learn the Party Con­sti­tu­tion, rules of in­tra-party po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, in­tra-party su­per­vi­sory reg­u­la­tions and ac­count­abil­ity rules as well as specifics in the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion, na­tional su­per­vi­sion law, crim­i­nal law, crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure law and civil ser­vant act. The su­per­vi­sory team should be armed with both po­lit­i­cal and le­gal aware­ness.

Sec­ond, au­thor­i­ties must ex­plore in­ter­nal op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms for su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions. Based on the na­tional su­per­vi­sion law, de­tailed en­force­ment rules must be stip­u­lated as soon as pos­si­ble and fo­cus on im­prov­ing the meth­ods of han­dling dis­ci­pline prob­lems and su­per­vi­sion, stan­dard­iz­ing pro­ce­dures for dis­ci­plinary re­views and en­force­ment and per­fect­ing pro­ce­dures and reg­u­la­tions to form a co­he­sive, ef­fi­cient and check-and-bal­ance work­ing mech­a­nism.

Third, au­thor­i­ties need to de­vise a rea­son­able method to de­fine su­per­vi­sion subjects and em­ploy dif­fer­ent pun­ish­ments for dif­fer­ent types of cor­rupt of­fi­cials. The num­ber of mon­i­tored tar­gets is ex­pected to dou­ble. To per­form such a tough job, su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions need to ap­ply in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy such as big data to set up a daily sur­veil­lance mech­a­nism and en­hance their ca­pac­ity to use tech­nol­ogy to fight cor­rup­tion.

Fourth, start­ing with the su­per­vi­sion law, au­thor­i­ties need to grad­u­ally es­tab­lish China’s an­ti­cor­rup­tion leg­is­la­tion sys­tem to im­prove the sys­tem for ad­dress­ing con­flict of in­ter­est, the rules of prop­erty dec­la­ra­tions and the reg­u­la­tions on in­former pro­tec­tion. Over time, some of these reg­u­la­tions should be­come laws to strengthen the power and en­force­ment of them.

Fifth, au­thor­i­ties need to boost ex­ter­nal over­sight of the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions. While con­fer­ring nec­es­sary power to the or­ga­ni­za­tions, au­thor­i­ties need to re­strict them to pre­vent abuse of power by keep­ing them un­der su­per­vi­sion of the peo­ple’s con­gresses and the pub­lic.

In sum­ma­tion, af­ter it gathered its ex­pe­ri­ence in en­sur­ing full and strict self-gov­er­nance, the CPC car­ried out re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem, which will help the gov­ern­ment be­come cleaner, bet­ter and more ca­pa­ble. And the re­form will cre­ate an ef­fi­cient mech­a­nism for long-term self-su­per­vi­sion of the Party and pro­vide a Chinese so­lu­tion to fight cor­rup­tion glob­ally. The au­thor is a re­search as­sis­tant with the Cen­ter for Anti-cor­rup­tion and Gov­er­nance at Ts­inghua Univer­sity.

March 23, 2018: The Na­tional Su­per­vi­sory Com­mis­sion is in­au­gu­rated in Beijing. At the cer­e­mony, mem­bers of the com­mis­sion took the oath of al­le­giance to the Con­sti­tu­tion. Xin­hua

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