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Campaign on corruption focus of sessions
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-12 01:10

Before this year's sessions of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an Xinhua News Agency website survey indicated the topic that most concerned ordinary Chinese was the State's anti-corruption campaign.

Chinese are not alone in their concern.

Ray Tsuchiyama from the United States, who works for Time Warner, has noticed China's resolution to fight against corruption by watching television broadcasts of the sessions.

He said carrying out resolute efforts makes it clear top leaders and legislators want to build a law-based government and society.

"If government agencies are seen to abide by the law, it makes chief executive officials in foreign firms in Japan, United States, South Korea, and Europe feel secure in investing funds here," he said.

Constantin Benedikt Schnacker, who used to work for the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Shanghai, agrees that a successful campaign against graft can help attract more foreign investment, but noted the task is arduous.

However, for NPC deputy Zhang Xuezhong, who is also the Party secretary of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, fighting corruption is a campaign that the Party and the government have to win. Otherwise, the people's support will be gone and along with it is the very foundation for a richer and stronger country.

Zhang believed the key to winning the battle is to ensure each level of the government is led by an official willing to severely punish corruption and be a clean model himself.

As far as Sichuan is concerned, three measures have been adopted to achieve the goal. In addition to examples promising severe punishment for whoever has committed corruption, the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee started to grade officials by adopting one more new standard last year:citizen evaluations.

Finally, officials in charge of discipline inspections must be competent and highly responsible to guarantee such important information as the evaluation of people towards their "father-mother'' officials.

Investigations and prevention of corruption and job-related crimes will remain the primary task of Chinese prosecutors for this year , said CPPCC member and Vice-Procurator General Zhao Dengju.

"More efforts should be given to helping professional groups set up and strengthen their supervision mechanisms and promoting education about the legal system,'' Zhao said.

As for some essential sectors like the finance industry, special measures have been planned to ensure a clean operation. Sources with the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection disclosed a task forces from related central government departments will be stationed in big State-owned commercial banks on auditing missions.

But CPPCC member Cao Keming urged strong improvements to the interior supervision of judicial and procuratorial authorities as well, because a large number of corruption cases have been disclosed by the public instead of these authorities. Official figures show public tips have provided about 80 per cent of the clues to cases eventually handled by prosecutors.

Along with a number of NPC deputies and CPPCC members, Wu Mingxi, vice-chairman of the democratic party of China Zhi Gong Dang and vice-secretary general of the 10th CPPCC National Committee, believe the anti-corruption situation in some regions and sectors remain quite austere.

However, it is not realistic to put an immediate end to corruption as soon as a sound political system is installed. The fight against corruption requires not only a breakthrough in political reform, but support of economic measures and the co-ordination of social reforms, he said.

He believes the enhanced attention that people attach to the campaign serves not only as pressure to press forward, but as encouragement.

That's because a larger proportion of the people actually have been awakened by the country's unprecedented crackdown last year, when officials above ministerial or provincial-level were removed and punished.

It is in the last year that an annual survey of the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection grading people's satisfaction about the country's anti-corruption effort produced a result of 51.9 per cent. That is the first time in eight years that the rate exceeds 50 per cent.

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