Can we expect the national campaign against organized crime and local despots to create a healthy environment for people and economic development?
Looking at the number of suspects arrested in southwestern city of Chongqing and the determination of its government and public security bureau, the answer would be in the affirmative.
Of the nearly 2,000 suspects caught, over 600 have been placed under arrest and about 250 indicted. The trial of the indicted starts on Tuesday. The fact that such high ranking officials as director of local judicial bureau, deputy director of local public security bureau and officers in the public security bureau are among the arrested points to the local government's resolve to fight organized crime.
In the transition from a planned economy to a market one, especially when the rule of law is evolving, some people take advantage of loopholes to get protective umbrellas by bribing public security officers and even high-ranking officers to establish criminal rings. They get involved in some particular market or trade and lord it over other business people and make illegal profits by either extracting protection fees or a monopoly in a particular business by force.
Their existence poses a serous threat to peaceful life and disrupts normal business operations. That is why the Ministry of Public Security launched a national campaign against such crimes in 2006. In the last three years, more than 14,000 suspects have been indicted in about 1,200 cases.
That a group involving 22 suspects in Chongqing has a history of nine years in committing different crimes sends the message that the sloppy and irresponsible work by some public security officers has created more than enough work for conscientious officials. All public security officers and prosecutors are facing the difficult task of bringing most organized criminal gangs and criminals to justice.
In Chongqing, more than 700 suspects have turned themselves in. This shows that as long as the fight is going on in as firm a manner as it should, it will not be that difficult to achieve what people expect.
Amidst hopes of the campaign's triumph, it is reasonable to expect that a mechanism would be established to prevent law enforcement officers from being bribed into providing protective umbrellas for organized crime.
Last but not the least, public security departments should be on guard against mafia-like organizations at all times. That will make it unnecessary to have special national campaigns, which is a sign of that the routine fight against such crimes needs to be strengthened.
(China Daily 10/12/2009 page4)