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Party corruption fight gets tougher
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-02-18 01:01

Experts Tuesday lauded the newly released internal supervision rule of the Communist Party of China, calling it a major step forward in institutionalized anti-corruption efforts.

Cheng Wenhao, director of the Anti-Corruption Research Centre of Tsinghua University, hailed the regulation as a milestone in the Party 83 years of history.

The rule represented the first time the Party has come up with a systematic set of rules on internal supervision since it was founded in 1921.

The regulation, promulgated by the Party's central committee, was released in full text to the public Tuesday. Another regulation on disciplinary penalties will be published today, party officials said.

Cheng said the regulation, when strictly enforced, will be an effective tool to check corruption from the source.

The regulation attaches great importance to carry forward democracy and strengthen supervision within the Party, while safeguarding Party unity and advancement. It puts emphasis on the supervision of leading officials in checking corruption.

Cheng said the regulation will help curb abuse of power by leading officials as they make important decisions, especially those involving the distribution of huge amounts of public resources that can lead to grave losses to the country.

"The new regulation reinforces current supervision by moving forward to the decision-making stage,'' he stressed.

Fang Ning, deputy director of the Institute of Political Science of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the regulation fairly summarizes the Party's experience in fighting corruption in the past.

Party leaders including Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Party's central committee, have repeatedly sworn they would do all they can to weed out corruption without mercy.

Over the past year, 13 officials at provincial and ministerial levels were disciplined for corruption. Wang Huaizhong, former vice-governor of East China's Anhui Province, was executed last week in Jinan, the capital of East China's Shandong Province.

Wang was sentenced to death in December for taking bribes valued at 5.17 million yuan (US$623,000) from 1994 to 2001 and possessing 4.8 million yuan (US$580,000) from unidentified sources. He lost his an appeal of his case last month.

Wang was the third corrupt official at the provincial or ministerial level to be sentenced to death since 1978. The previous two were Hu Changqing, former vice-governor of East China's Jiangxi Province and Cheng Kejie, former chairman of South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

China also signed the UN Anti-Corruption Convention at the end of last year, indicating its resolute conviction to solve corruption problems through more comprehensive co-operation with the world.

"Anti-corruption is a gradual process and the rule offers clearer guidance and makes future initiatives more practical,'' Fang said, while noting the crux of the problem is still linked with the quality of officials, improved awareness of the people and society.

The Party's central committee has issued a notice urging its members at all levels to strictly implement the regulations.

An annual survey conducted by the Research Department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Party's Central Committee found that more than half of respondents were satisfied with the Party's efforts to fight corruption last year.

The survey polled 12,000 respondents in 10 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Beijing and Sichuan. About 60 per cent said the government has already stepped up tough measures against corruption.

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