Premier Wen vows to fight corruption of officials

Updated: 2008-03-25 23:55

BEIJING  -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday vowed to put fighting corruption at the top of his agenda, at a special  meeting of his new Cabinet.

The sole agenda item for today's meeting was this year's anti-corruption work by the State Council, or Cabinet.

Wen said over-concentration of power plus ineffective supervision served as an important reason behind the spread of corruption. He stressed the importance of improving the system for supervising and containing over-concentration of power.

Anti-corruption should give prominence to establishing systematic restrictions to such unsupervised power, he said.

Wen said the previous Cabinet session had made improvements in resolving some serious cases of corruption and cracking down on commercial bribery.

However, he admitted that government departments' and officials' scandals have been increasing and some bribery cases, in which huge amount of capital was involved, have aroused harsh complaints and had enraged the public.

Wen did not identify the specific names of the government departments holding unsupervised power at the meeting on Tuesday afternoon attended by all four Vice-Premiers and State Councillors.

Chen Qinghai, a deputy to the National People's Congress, said in this year's session that corruption is easier to breed in industries such as real estate, medicine and medical appliance purchase and sales, since administrative power still concentrates on those industries.

The National Bureau of Corruption Prevention of China was founded in May last year. The bureau has been endowed with tasks to deal with government-related corruption with an affiliation to the Ministry of Supervision.

One of the most striking cases of corruption in the past five years was that of Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), who was executed after being convicted of taking 6.49 million yuan in bribes in return for approving hundreds of medicines, some that proved dangerous.

In addition, the case of former Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu has moved to a new stage. He has been expelled from the CPC and dismissed from all government posts and remains in jail awaiting trial.

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