"Selling of official posts" denounced

Updated: 2006-11-12 19:13

BEIJING -- Buying and selling government posts and official titles have become one of the main corruption in China, said a former head of the CPC's organization department.

Zhang Quanjing, who headed the department for five years until 1999, said, "It's appalling to hear that a Chinese official killed his superior in order to get a higher post," Zhang told the Southern Weekly this week.

Zhang, who was in charge of the country's high-level appointments, said since 1982 a new generation of higher-educated, less ideological officials have replaced the older cadres who had earned their jobs fighting for the socialist cause.

"The older senior officials who survived wartime were different than the younger officials who tend to think about themselves and are mainly after power, salary, status, housing and medical care. This thinking triggers jealousy and encourages the buying of official posts to get promoted," the South China's Guangzhou-based newspaper quoted Zhang as saying.

Zhang said more open hiring practices by the party's disciplinary and organization bodies would help stop the practice of buying or selling government posts.

In 2005, 334 CPC officials were criticized for seeking illegal promotions and 97 were punished according to organizational or disciplinary rules, statistics show.

Zhang said the public has helped crack down on official misconduct. By visiting or writing letters whistle blowers have reported a large number of official corruption cases in recent years.

In July, eight CPC officials were punished, some with long jail terms, for buying or selling government jobs.

Cao Yongbao, former Deputy Secretary of Liangshan Prefectural Committee of the CPC in Southwest China's Sichuan Province was expelled from the Party and sentenced to 13 years in jail.

In an infamous scandal involving officials of Chenzhou, Central China's Hunan Province, buying and selling government posts was so popular that Li Dalun, the former secretary of the Chenzhou municipal CPC committee, was found to have accepted 13.25 million yuan (about 1.65 million U.S. dollars) in bribes that included free overseas tours and free overseas education for his family members.

"Officials who do this must be severely criticized," said Wu Guangzheng, secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection earlier in a speech.

"We need to be tough on people who buy and sell official posts," he said.

"Government department with too many officials is also a big problem" Zhang said, adding that departments should be streamlined with fewer officials who are more efficient.

He suggested that China's provincial governments should reduce the number of official posts to one governor and two vice-governors.

"Fewer official posts would shift the attention of officials from thinking about getting a promotion to the actual doing their work," Zhang said.

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