China / Government

Collusion between business, govt cited as concern

By Zhang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-06 07:47
Corruption involving collusion between government officials and business owners and executives remains the biggest challenge facing those involved in the campaign against bribery and fraud, according to the top anti-graft body.

The Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent teams to 13 areas and organizations to see how local government officials are performing their duties.

The investigators have listed the types of corruption they found most often since beginning the inspections in July.

Cases involving government officials and businesses top the list, followed by corruption by low-level officials who, the inspectors say, engage in an astonishing number of bribery and money-for-position deals.

The inspectors investigated officials in the Guangxi Zhuang and Tibet autonomous regions, Shanghai, and Qinghai, Zhejiang, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces. They also carried out inspections at the General Administration of Sport, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State-owned automaker China FAW Group Corp.

The teams consist of personnel from the CCDI and the CPC'S Organization Department, and are led by the commission's head, Wang Qishan. They have access to government work reports and are authorized to read files and records and receive petitions and letters containing allegations of corruption from the public.

Sichuan and Jiangsu were affected most by government-business corruption, the inspectors said. Some local officials and business figures have worked closely over the years and exchange political privilege for financial gain.

In Guangxi and Shanghai, many cases were found involving relatives of officials who took part in government construction projects and land development programs.

Overall, widespread corruption occurred in construction and real estate projects in 60 percent of the areas the inspectors visited.

Officials in junior positions were found to be taking high-value bribes in more than half the areas. In rural areas, misconduct by village leaders was common.

Zhao Jiyao, head of the inspection team that visited Heilongjiang, said that the anti-graft campaign in the province is facing severe challenges, and that cases where government positions have been bought are not investigated adequately.

Zhang Wenyue, head of the inspection team that went to Shanghai, said children and other relatives of some local officials reaped huge profits from the misuse of public power, especially in the culture, media and publishing sectors.

FAW was criticized severely after a team completed an investigation into the Changchun-based group in August. Three top executives at FAW-Volkswagen have been placed under investigation, including Zhong Liqiu, former secretary of the company's CPC committee, and Li Wu, the general sales manager.

Zhuang Deshui, a professor of clean-governance research at Peking University's School of Government, said he hopes the commission will follow up on the results of the inspections.

"The teams need to go back to areas where the problems are not rectified to carry out further checks on local officials," he said. "No problems should be allowed to continue in the places that have been inspected."

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