Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

New stage in anti-corruption fight

By Xie Pengcheng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-05 08:55

A sound legal system and the full-fledged participation of the people are necessary to ensure clean governance

For a country that still needs to overcome a series of institutional difficulties and obstacles to comprehensively deepen reforms, China must launch a resolute and deeper anti-corruption campaign to dig out both high-ranking "tigers" and low-level "flies".

The widening gap between the rich and the poor, a deteriorating environment, the wasting of land, man-made calamities, as well as the existence of some ugly and evil social phenomena are to a large extent related to market imperfections, inequitable competition, the abuse of power and corruption. For China, reform of its economic system remains the focal point of efforts for comprehensive and deepened reforms, and the key task is how to handle the relations between the government and the market to make the market play a decisive role in the distribution of resources and make the government function better. Addressing such problems as deficiencies in the market mechanism, excessive government intervention and the failure to put effective supervision in place will not just help deepen China's economic systematic reforms, it will also help strengthen and improve its corruption punishment and prevention system.

The establishment of such an anti-corruption mechanism will also help the market play a decisive role in economic activities, maintain the order of market competition, more effectively curb social unfairness and enable the comprehensive deepening of reforms.

A more resolute fight against corruption will help eliminate the resistance and obstacles to reforms. Corruption has not only compromised the interests of the public and the whole nation, it has also hampered the country's efforts to advance comprehensive and deepened reforms. Three decades ago, there were also officials who felt reluctant or who did not dare to push forward reforms, but this was mainly due to their closed-minds, tunnel vision and lack of knowledge, and also a result of China's long policy of secluding itself from the outside world.

However, after more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, the minds of the majority of officials have already been emancipated, their field of vision has been widened, their knowledge enriched and they have cultivated sharper perceptions of the problems China now faces and the countermeasures needed. This means that some officials' reluctance to push forward reforms or willingness to obstruct them is no longer an issue of perception, but an issue of interests, as some worry that further reforms will touch their vested interests. Some officials have even got accustomed to their privileges, and the abuse of power for personal gain. To deepen reforms means regulating public power, perfecting the market order and depriving vested groups of their tightly controlled privileges and interests. However, by taking advantage of their privileges, these groups might try to form an opposing force and take all available measures and every possible pretext to negate, delay and even obstruct reform measures.

Therefore, severely striking against both "tigers and flies" will effectively remove obstacles that stand in the way of the country's reforms. In this sense, a resolute campaign to fight corruption and build a clean government will offer China chances for achieving breakthroughs for its comprehensive and deepened reforms.

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