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Voice from the top: No mercy for corruption
Updated: 2004-02-14 17:26

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday said China should continue its battle against corruption in governments at all levels this year, while striving for substantial progress in solving the outstanding problems that jeopardize the interests of the people.

Premier Wen Jiabao (C) delivers a speech at the second session on building an honest and clean government convened by the State Council in Beijing Feb. 13, 2004. Huang Ju (R) and Wu Guanzheng (L), both members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, were present at the meeting. [Xinhua]

Addressing the second conference on building a clean government held by the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, Wen said government bodies made marked progress last year, with the central government revising its codes of conduct to highlight democratic decision-making, administration according to law and improved administrative supervision.

In 2004, the fight against corruption within governments should focus on carrying out the anti-graft regulations concerning leading government officials, greater efforts to investigate crimes involving officials and punishment of the corrupt.

Wen also ordered governments at all levels to determinedly protect the legitimate interests of disadvantaged people, such as farmers in land acquisition deals, urban residents in relocation projects, employees of state-owned firms in corporate regrouping and bankruptcy deals, and migrant workers, who often complained about delayed payment of wages.

He also stressed the importance of regulating the conduct of government departments in their exercise of administrative power, and reducing red-tape while improving transparency of administrative affairs at various levels.

On Saturday, Chinese authorities convened a rare meeting to review the efforts they have made during the past two months to protect the immediate interests of the general population, especially needy people.

Addressing the meeting, Chinese Vice-Premier Huang Ju urged the Party and governments at all levels to devote more time and resources to efforts helping grass-root governments and people in need.

The Party and governments should devote more resources to coordinated social and economic development and raising people's standard of living, said Huang, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

During the New Year and traditional Chinese Lunar New Near period, the Party and the central government dispatched 12 inspection groups to 18 provincial regions and 18 Party and government institutions to probe the progress the country has madein carrying out policies designed to help the people in need and address the problems concerning the general public, Huang said.

The CPC Central Committee and central government have formulated policies to create better conditions for the work and life of the general public, while highlighting the importance of solving the problems that had great bearing on their immediate interests during the past year, he said.

Huang said the nationwide inspection indicates local Party and governments have done quite a lot in serving the people, making the "blood and flesh" relation between the Party and the people even closer.

He said China would continue its bid to carry out those policies, and strive for a mechanism that safeguards the immediate interests of the general public and social stability through institutional construction and formulating new laws and regulations.

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