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Party demands full asset disclosure to curb graft
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-09-21 07:21

Leading officials within the Communist Party of China (CPC) will soon have to declare all assets and investments, as well as details on their family, as part of anti-graft measures to curb corruption.

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High-ranking members will be ordered to disclose all housing and business dealings, along with the jobs of their spouses and children.

The CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced the move during its Fourth Plenary Session in Beijing, which closed on Saturday.

The new rules will "beef up self-discipline and strengthen the management of officials whose spouses and children have emigrated abroad", Xinhua News Agency reported.

Around 4,000 corrupt officials fled the country with at least $50 billion between 1978 and 2003, showed a Ministry of Commerce report. Experts suspect the number is much higher.

Crooked officials often take bribes through companies run by the family in order to relocate their "dirty" money.

The commission has been monitoring job and college applications made by suspected Party officials and their relatives since July 2004, Xinhua reported.

On Saturday, the commission said it would punish anyone who sells or buys an official post, as well as those who attempt to rig election results.

The Party also vowed to make greater efforts to investigate cases of abuse of power, corruption and bribery, and accusations of dereliction of duty and misconduct involving leading officials.

There will be a probe into corruption behind mass incidents, Xinhua reported.

Disciplinary inspection and supervisory bodies at all levels were also urged to realize the urgency of strengthening self-improvement, while cadres were called on to present an image that is respectable and approachable.

More than 880,000 officials were punished for misconduct between July 2003 and December last year, the commission said.

The former Party chief for Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for bribery and abuse of power in 2008, while Zheng Xiaoyu, ex-director of the State Food and Drug Administration, was executed in 2007 for taking bribes and dereliction of duty.

The renewed anti-graft push came just a day after the CPC Central Committee concluded its most important four-day plenum of the year, one in which it vowed to "resolutely fight corruption".

A notice issued after the plenum acknowledged problems existed inside the Party that ran counter to new circumstances and to the Party's nature. These problems "seriously damage the Party's flesh-and-blood bond with the people and seriously affect the solidity of the Party's ruling status", the notice said.

China Daily - Xinhua