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Wen calls for more efforts to curb corruption
Updated: 2005-02-27 20:22

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for stronger reforms and greater efforts to prevent corruption among government officials at a recently convened State Council conference on the issue of clean government.

Xinhua released the text of speech Sunday.

Wen, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, recalled the achievements the government scored in its anti-corruption efforts in 2004 and laid out the arrangements for this year's work in the area.

Wen cited three main areas on which the governments at various levels have focused:

First, efforts were made to resolve protruding problems that had damaged the interests of the people, such as delayed payment of land-requisition compensations for farmers and delayed payment of wages by construction contractors, and dealt with issues of the infringement of legal rights of people displaced in urban development, regrouping and bankruptcy of enterprises, illegal educational charges, and excessive financial burden of farmers.

Second, the government made progress regarding the practice of administrative powers by law. Last year, the State Council issued relevant regulations to regularize the work of the government, while launching a series of new policies on tax reform in rural areas, structural reform of investment and structural reform for the management of land and resources.

Third, governments at different levels handled a number of cases involving the violation of discipline and laws and punished a group of corrupt officials and those who had brought losses to the people due to their malfeasance. Greater efforts were made by government auditors to find out this kind of problems.

Wen said corruption still existed in certain areas. "The anti- corruption fight is still an arduous task," he said.

He instructed governments and leading officials to accept the strategic policies of the central authorities. "Corruption damages the interests of the people and the close links between the Party and the people, weakens the governance base and capability of the Party, affects social stability and disturbs the general situation of reform, development and stability," he said.

In 2005 the government should set up an anti-corruption system that stresses education, institution and supervision and integrates punishment and prevention, he said.

He pledged to accelerate the process of transforming the functions of government by allowing enterprises, business associations and intermediate agencies to play due roles in handling matters that "should not be handled by government."

He said government behaviors would become more regular and fewer mistakes would be made if a good system was in place and strictly followed.

Wen also pledged to increase supervision and control over the use of government powers. "A poor mechanism of supervision and the lack of supervision are a major factor for the emergence of corruption," he noted.

This year, Wen said, the government will reform and improve the policy-making mechanism, deepen the reform of administrative examination and approval, accelerate the structural reform of financial management, improve the system of supervision over government investment, step up supervision and control over state- owned properties, regularize and manage land markets, build accountability in administrative law enforcement and make greater efforts in the transparency of government work.

At the end of his speech, the premier pledged to stress accountability in fighting corruption and building a clean government, and to make "substantial efforts" to step up supervision and inspection.

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