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No let up for the corrupt

Updated: 2014-01-15 07:38
( China Daily)

Officials who assumed that the intensity of the fight against corruption last year would lose its momentum should give up their wishful thinking and pay attention to what Party leader Xi Jinping said at the third plenum of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection on Tuesday.

Despite progress over the past year, Xi said that strong measures and high pressure will continue to be used to fight corruption and there will be zero tolerance for abuse of power.

Delivering a speech on the commission's plenum, Xi said the situation remains serious and the campaign against corruption will be very complicated. This should make the central authorities realize that the campaign is an uphill battle which requires construction of a mechanism to prevent corruption.

From the stipulations to prevent officials from squandering public money on receptions and misusing government vehicles, to the specifications on what type of hotel rooms officials of different levels can check into and the amount of money they can use on meals during business trips, we can see that the Party and the government both are making great efforts to build what Xi has described as a cage of rules to keep power in check.

As expected, Xi stressed the implementation of a top-level systematic design featuring a five-year (2013-17) guideline for building and improving mechanisms to prevent corruption and punish the corrupt.

At the disciplinary inspection commission meeting, Wang Qishan, in charge of the Party discipline watchdog, said the stipulations would be increased to include one compelling officials to declare their assets. And after a corrupt official is nabbed, those who promoted him/her would face investigation, he said.

Emphasizing that an effective system - not just a scarecrow - to prevent the abuse of power should be put in place, Xi said watchdogs must be made to independently oversee those in power. It is important to tighten supervision over the exercise of power, especially by top leaders at various levels.

More detailed rules on what officials cannot do are expected, so are systematic reforms on how watchdogs should oversee the exercise of power by officials in 2014. Therefore, there is enough reason to expect a clean and honest government secured by systematic guarantees.