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System highlights anti-corruption measures
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-14 23:43

An anti-corruption system that lays equal stress on punishment and prevention is in the making in the context of the developing market economy.

Putting education, system construction and supervision at its core, it is designed to prevent and combat corruption in government departments.

The central government is considering making a regular analysis of the performance of leading officials to help build a clean government.

Legal experts say legislation is needed to prevent and fight corruption.

The supervisory system must be strengthened in order to restrict officials' abuse of power while laws and regulations related to combatting corruption are established, said Zhu Xudong, director of the Research Institute under Central Discipline Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of China.

Zhu made the remarks at a conference entitled Strengthening the Punishment and Prevention Mechanism of Anti-Corruption organized by the Supreme People's Procuratorate in Beijing over the weekend.

There should be strict supervision of major government departments in order to prevent leading officials from misusing their power, Zhu said.

He pointed out that supervision must be intensified in the selection of officials, and the operation of financial capital and State-owned assets, adding that legal measures, auditing and supervision all have a role to play.

"A sound and effective anti-corruption system should involve a series of interrelated mechanisms of prevention, restraint, punishment and self-discipline," Zhu said.

To legislate against corruption should be one of the important tasks for the lawmakers in the period to come, he advised.

Highlighting the importance of the legal system in preventing and combating corruption, Professor Wang Mu from the China University of Politics and Law said a seamless system must be established to supervise government officials, including senior officials.

Cheng Wenhao from the School of Public Management in Tsinghua University emphasized the role of education in preventing corruption, describing it as a long-term and strategic task.

In the long run, life-long education promoting good behaviour and honest from childhood will help create a sound social environment for clean government.

Corruption has been on the rise since China launched its reform and opening drive in the late 1970s.

From 1998 to 2003, 36 officials at provincial and ministerial level were involved in corruption cases.

And six officials at provincial and ministerial level and 537 officials above county level were punished for corruption in 2003.

The central government and the Party are taking a firm stand against corruption and their efforts to fight this scourge are also being assisted by international organizations.

As China continues its rapid socio-economic transformation, transparent and efficient government becomes increasingly imperative to create an equal and fair society for all people, said an official from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"We support China's efforts to develop a balanced and effective anti-corruption system and see the Supreme People's Procuratorate as having an important role to play in the new anti-corruption system," said Renaud Meyer, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP's China Office at the conference.

From 2002, UNDP launched a three-year legal system reform project to assist the nation's court, procuratorate and public security authorities to adopt and implement new rules and policies in deepening the legal system reform.

Anti-corruption is an important part of the project.

Thanks to the project, a working guideline on advocacy on the prevention of corruption has been formulated and key prosecutors from the anti-corruption bureaux of the procuratorates have been trained to enhance their legal skills and professionalism.

"Our programmes support the government's efforts to strengthen transparency and accountability within the civil service and the judiciary through the development of specific anti-corruption legislation and codes of conduct and through independent mechanisms for oversight, monitoring and enforcement," Meyer said.

With the UNDP's support, China actively participated in the drafting of the UN Convention on Anti-Corruption and signed the convention in December last year.

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