Rules to oversee conduct of Party members
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China released its regulations on disciplinary penalties in an all-encompassing text Wednesday, which experts hailed as another major step in the fight against corruption.
"This is an important measure for the Party to institutionalize management,'' said Central Party School professor Wang Changjiang.
The regulations, together with rules on internal supervision released on Tuesday, represents the Party's determination to base its efforts in the fight against corruption on rules rather than any particular leader's political will, he said.
Wang said the regulations will raise the risks for corrupt offenders by being specific and practical.
The 178-article set of regulations specifies punishments on such irregularities as taking bribes, embezzling public funds and dereliction of duty.
It also penalizes conduct which disrupts the management of social order, such as visiting prostitutes and offering favourable conditions for gambling, which are banned by law.
Disciplinary measures within the Party will include steps such as warnings, severe warnings, removal from office, probation within the Party and expulsion.
Party members should not be promoted within a year after receiving punishments such as warnings or severe warnings.
Wang said the regulation underscores in both its preamble and ensuing articles that all members are equal under Party discipline, which reflects inner Party democracy.
He said it also protects the rights of Party members by setting up strict procedures in checking personnel.
The regulations stipulate that holding back or distorting information or seeking profits by taking advantages of one's position in the employment, examination and promotion of officials or employees will receive punishments ranging from warnings to probation within the Party.
The department in charge of the appointment and examination of Party officials recently released four typical cases involving local Party leaders taking bribes and selling out official positions.
Li Tiecheng, former secretary-general of the Party Committee of Jingyu County in Northeast China's Jilin Province, took bribes valued at 1.69 million yuan (US$204,350) while he was in office. Li was expelled from the Party in 2002 and sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years at the beginning of last year.
Shang Dianju, former secretary-general of the Party Committee of Kuandian County in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, was another one of the officials punished for corrupt activities.
The other two mentioned were Sun Kongwen, former secretary-general of the Party Committee of Mengcheng County in East China's Anhui Province and Ma Zhaode, former director of the industrial and commercial administration in South China's Hainan Province.
The Party's regulation on internal supervision, which was released on Tuesday, also puts emphasis on the supervision of leading officials in checking their corrupt counterparts.
"Appointment of those officials who seek promotion by offering bribes or other behind-the-screen deals misleads other members and blurs the standards of the Party in choosing the right person for the right job,'' said Contemporary China Institute associate professor Tian Bo.
Tian said the Party, aside from institutional improvement, should make greater efforts to help and educate its members to raise the quality of their work.
The Party's central committee has issued a notice, urging its members at all levels to carefully study the regulations.