Shanghai mayor vows to build clean govt

By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-01-25 07:26


 Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng speaks during the opening day of the 13th Shanghai Municipal People's Congress in Shanghai January 24, 2008. Han vowed on Thursday to build a clean, efficient and transparent government. [Agencies]

SHANGHAI: Admitting corruption has hampered Shanghai's development, Mayor Han Zheng Thursday vowed to build a clean, efficient and transparent government.

"We will place higher priority on building a clean government committed to fighting corruption," Han told the first session of the 13th Shanghai municipal people's congress, which opened Thursday.

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He hailed the city's development in the past five years but noted that some officials "are not capable of managing an international metropolis like Shanghai", and some had squandered public funds and committed dereliction of duty.

"A few have used power for personal benefit and were involved in corruption."

The social security fund scandal involving former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu "has seriously affected the city's reform and development".

"We need to learn from it and develop a more effective anti-corruption system that will combine rigorous punishment with prevention," he said.

Han suggested systematic supervision over such key areas as construction, land and property rights transactions, and government purchases.

An anti-corruption storm has been roiling Shanghai since mid-2006 when at least 3.4 billion yuan ($470 million) was found to have been embezzled from the social security fund and diverted to property and highway investment.

The scandal has brought down more than a dozen government officials and heads of major State-owned enterprises including Chen and China's Formula 1 boss Yu Zhifei.

Caijing magazine reported on Tuesday that Yin Guoyuan, former vice-director of the city's housing, land and resources administration bureau, had been charged with taking bribes and illegally possessing various properties.

Yin was reported to have taken advantage of his position to grant benefits to others and receive cash, company shares, a house and a car, worth tens of millions of yuan. Five other officials in the bureau are under detention, the magazine said.

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