Anti-corruption measures taking effect at local level

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 2, 2010
Adjust font size:

For this year's Lunar New Year holiday, police officers in a county of central China's Henan Province were especially cautious when partying with mining and entertainment bosses.

Their wariness was caused by the county police department's release earlier this year of rules forbidding police officers -- especially those in powerful positions -- from developing "overly close relations" with company heads, participating in mining management or providing illegal protection.

Officials who violated the rules would be removed from their posts or transferred out of the police department. Severe offenders would receive further punishment in accordance with the law.

"One officer has already been removed from his post for breaking the rules," said officer Chen Mingzhou in the police department of Mianchi, a county with rich mining sources.

"We discovered that some officers used their powers to participate in mining and entertainment management businesses and provided illegal protection for those businesses," said Chen. "Some officers only did their 'duty' once given benefits. And when 'tipped,' they used their power at will."

According to a survey conducted by People's Daily Online last month ahead of the country's upcoming annual legislative session, anti-corruption came top of "the most important issues" for this year.

The results showed that 70 percent of some 200,000 netizens who took part in the survey considered corruption among cadres at county level "most serious."

Huang Zongliang, a Peking University politics professor, said, "grassroots corruption is not necessarily 'most serious,' but people are very aware of it. Rampant corruption at the lower level directly weakens people's confidence in government."

Many local governments were trying to implement new anti-corruption measures in a positive way, he said.

Discussions over the creation of a system to record officials' property triggered nationwide debate early this year, yet in northwestern Xinjiang's Aletai District such a system had already been in effect for a year.

Salaries, bonuses, stocks and securities among other incomes must be declared in the region.

Statistics show that officials voluntarily handed over illegal earnings worth more than 760,000 yuan (111,000 U.S. dollars) after the system was implemented.

"Many anti-corruption measures might only be effective in specific regions and would not be suitable nationwide," said Huang. "The country should encourage and support local governments to boldly explore new ways in accordance with regional characteristics to fight corruption."

At Liling city of central Hunan Province, a trial reform of the Party's discipline system has been going on for several months.

Under the current Party framework, the discipline department is part of the party committee and discipline officials are usually of lower rank to the chief of the party committee, which can cause difficulties for carrying out fair supervision.

At Liling, discipline officials at each city government department were reorganized into an independent team directly taking orders from the city's party discipline department. The reform has given discipline officials more power to supervise department heads.

Similar reform is under discussion in Henan. The provincial party discipline department is trying to introduce a similar system at the county level, so senior party officials, especially the county's party chief, would be better watched.

In Xuanwu District of eastern Nanjing City, residents can evaluate community staff performance by giving feedback over the Internet.

"In recent years, China has been putting much effort in to constructing anti-corruption systems and releasing a series of pertinent policies and regulations," said Professor Huang.

"China should continue to systematically come up with new measures in order to promote inner-party democracy and 'people's democracy.' And that is the essence of how to stop corruption," he added.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from