Punishment announced for corrupt officials
By Jiao Xiaoyang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-24 05:59
The Communist Party of China's (CPC) top watchdog announced severe
punishments yesterday for a number of officials involved in scandals of buying
public and Party posts through bribery.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Organization
Department of the CPC Central Committee held a press conference to publicize the
list of the disgraced.
Among them, Wu Bao'an of Shanxi Province was sentenced to 15 years in prison
last July for taking bribes.
According to the court ruling, from April 2000 to May 2004, Wu took advantage
of his posts as the magistrate of Yicheng County and secretary of the county
Party committee to help 28 people obtain promotions or illicit interests after
accepting bribes totalling 888,000 yuan (US$109,500).
As Party committees at provincial, municipal, county and township levels
nationwide undergo personnel adjustment this year, "we must make efforts to
create a clean and healthy environment to guarantee a smooth process of the
reshuffle," said Liu Xirong, the commission's deputy secretary.
Irregularities found in official promotions will be dealt with case by case
with zero tolerance, he said.
Liu said officials found trying to acquire official posts through illegal
means will be punished and no longer promoted.
Those who have already obtained higher official posts through bribery will be
demoted. The officials in charge of discipline supervision who failed to spot
the wrongdoing will also be dealt with for dereliction of duty, Liu said.
He stressed that in the future, officials who are found having sold or bought
official posts through election bribery or other illicit activities will be
demoted and face further legal action.
In the past two years, disciplinary rules have been established and revised
to regulate the recommendation, selection, supervision and resignation of local
Party officials in a bid to increase transparency.
"Personnel replacement within the Party is becoming increasingly
standardized," Ye Duchu, a scholar with the Central Party School, was quoted by
Outlook Weekly as saying.
The Party accelerated in its anti-corruption drive last year. Two
ministerial-level officials Tian Fengshan, former minister of land and
resources, and Han Guizhi, former head of the top advisory body of Heilongjiang
Province, were sentenced to life imprisonment and a suspended death penalty.
"The punishments of such senior officials reflect the Party's resolution and
strength in fighting corruption," said Cheng Wenhao, an associate professor with
the Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management.
Wu Jiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science, told Xinhua
News Agency that "corruption in personnel adjustment may shake and undermine the
CPC's ruling foundation and capacity."
It is during local Party committee elections that corruption is likelier to
take place, Wu said.
General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao stressed earlier
that selecting qualified officials and giving them proper posts is vital to
consolidating the ruling status of the CPC.
In 2005, the Party issued a milestone decree that defines the Party's
anti-corruption tactics as "systematic."
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which China ratified, took
effect last year.
"The anti-corruption campaign will continue to be high-handed," Cheng said.
"There will be fierce bites rather than barks."
(China Daily 01/24/2006 page1)