Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Net set to stop 'foxes' fleeing

By Lin Zhe (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-12 09:14

Further, according to the principle of the declaration, the signing parties will share data and information. Many officials choose to flee when they are no longer able to hide clues to their corruption, but by the time judicial staff have followed up these clues they are already overseas. The declaration makes it possible for foreign customs offices to receive the information that they are wanted for corruption when they start the journey, and so reject their entrance upon landing. In other words, the way out for "fleeing foxes" will be cut.

Other measures such as establishing an APEC anti-graft and law enforcement office, and strengthening international cooperation through the construction of a multilateral network, will all help weave a seamless net to trap fleeing officials in the Asia-Pacific region.

That net echoes China's ongoing anti-graft efforts to "shut power in a cage of laws", which features filling in loopholes in the country's anti-corruption laws and strengthening enforcement of them. As Chinese officials know they will face the joint judiciary of most countries and economies within the region should they trade power for money and then seek to leave the country with their illegal gains, they might forgo the temptation of seeking to profit from their positions.

Besides aiding China's anti-graft efforts, the declaration is also expected to further support the prosperity of economies in the region. Facilitating trade, investment and services has been a consistent theme of APEC, but efforts to build interconnected markets within the Asia-Pacific have long been curbed by different market standards and the high cost of corruption.

A firmer iron hand that strikes corruption will not only purify the market environment, it will also boost entrepreneurs' confidence in the region, boosting investment and trade. Besides, there is also an onus on enterprises to prevent corruption losses because the declaration requires signing parties to return revenues confirmed illegal.

Another noteworthy point is that China has for the first time set the agenda for APEC and rallied wide support. Corruption is a common headache, but only in China is it so rampant. By successfully taking the lead in international cooperation, China has shown the world its confidence in playing a bigger role with higher influence in multilateral diplomacy.

Global governance is realized through the cooperation of all participants and China needs to practice its skills with a meaningful mission, and anti-corruption cooperation is certainly one of the kind.

Connectivity is a key word at this year's APEC meetings, and the Beijing Anti-Corruption Declaration is an excellent example of interconnection. We expect it to be well implemented.

The author is a professor on anti-graft studies at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC.

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