Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Shock 'tigers' and awe 'flies'

By Wu Yixue (China Daily) Updated: 2013-12-27 06:49

Five-year anti-graft plan shows leaders' determination to curb corruption by building up institutionalized cages for power

The five-year anti-corruption plan issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Wednesday is testament to the top Chinese leadership's unshakable determination to fight corruption and a substantial step toward fulfilling its vow to put power within an institutionalized cage.

The 6,000-character guideline document, a reflection of the Party's top-level anti-graft design, includes not just general anti-corruption goals but also concrete measures and ways toward this end, including punishing any official involved, however high his or her position is. It is an incarnation of the Chinese new leadership's well-conceived thinking in its uphill battle against corruption.

The document has raised people's hopes that corruption will be effectively contained and eventually eradicated because it sets an explicit goal: "After five years of relentless efforts, the spreading tendency of corruption will be resolutely curbed, and progresses and effects generally satisfactory to the public will be achieved."

The leadership never underestimates the scale of the task. "Corruption is still widespread, the soil that nourishes corruption still exists, and the situation remains critical and complicated," the document says.

Such a clear acknowledgement of the problem is itself a reflection of the new leadership's pragmatic working style and courage.

The document reinforces the resolve of the leadership to imprison unbridled power in a cage of regulations and crack down on both high-ranking "tigers" and low-ranking "flies", and contains a vow that probes will be made of anyone who dares to cross the bottom line of State laws and Party disciplines, no matter who is involved and no matter how senior they are. Such wording is by no means hollow saber-rattling that lacks substance. The downfall of a series of senior officials over the past year, especially the investigation into several ministerial-level officials since the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, serves as the best evidence that this pledge is serious.

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