Beijing, HK to battle graft together

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-13 07:47

The Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will strengthen cooperation in anti-corruption work, the head of Hong Kong's top anti-corruption watchdog said on Friday.

Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, newly appointed commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong, wrapped up her four-day visit in Beijing yesterday during which she met senior officials of the mainland's anti-corruption authorities and other government bodies.

Law told a press conference that she had called on the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Supervision to exchange anti-corruption knowledge and experience and discuss cooperation for 2007.

"With growing social and economic ties and the frequent flow of people and capital between Hong Kong and the mainland, we reached agreements that both sides should strengthen cooperation in investigations and experience," Law said.

Her visit coincided with the plenary meeting of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top anti-corruption body.

"We see the central government's firm determination to rule out corruption and it was indeed a fruitful year for the mainland in the work of anti-corruption," Law said.

She hoped the two sides would increase exchanges and visits in the future with ICAC members paying more visits to provinces on the mainland.

Besides general routine communications, Law said a symposium on special subjects between the two sides would be held in the future.

Law also said the her commission hoped to come up with a new guide for businessmen from Hong Kong on mainland business operations and anti-corruption laws with the help of mainland anti-corruption authorities.

Law also hoped the two sides would reach a consensus on extradition soon.

She said different laws and judicial systems of the two sides and the existence of the death penalty on the mainland are issues that need to be tackled.

"But I think everything can be solved through negotiation," Law said.

A case in point is that of Zhou Zhengyi, also known as Chau Ching-ngai, who is now in jail in Shanghai for manipulating stock prices and falsifying registered capital of subsidiaries. Zhou is also on the ICAC's list of most-wanted for economic crimes committed in Hong Kong.

"Without an extradition agreement, we can't indict him unless he is brought to Hong Kong," Law said.

She also said it was a "pity" that a Chinese mainland student was sentenced six months imprisonment after trying to bribe her teacher in Hong Kong but defended the verdict.

"Hong Kong holds 'zero tolerance' for corruption," she said.

To avoid the same thing from recurring, Law said the ICAC would contact all the universities in the special administrative regionto lecture students from the mainland on anti-corruption policies as new semesters open in June.

(China Daily 01/13/2007 page2)

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