5-year plan unveiled to fight corruption

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The Communist Party of China (CPC) has vowed on Wednesday to firmly fight corruption and maintain its "high-handed posture" in the next five years.

"Corruption is still widespread. The soil that nourishes corruption still exists, and the situation remains critical and complicated," according to a five-year plan (2013-17) aimed at setting up a system to punish and prevent corruption.

 [By Jiao Haiyang/China.org.cn]

 [By Jiao Haiyang/China.org.cn]

"If the problems of work styles and corruption are not handled properly, they will critically harm the Party, and even lead the Party or nation to perish," according to the plan.

The Party also reiterates its resolve to fight both the "tigers" and the "flies", a reference to senior and low-ranking officials.

All cases must be investigated and culprits punished more severely to deter others, the plan states, while vowing to resolutely halt the momentum of extensive corruption.

The report urged strengthened intra-Party supervision and extra effort in regulating the use of power, by ordering officials to submit reports annually on how their new, clean work styles.

It also urged giving anti-graft education a key role in the study campaign for Party members and officials, with a focus on law, discipline, morality and typical corruption cases to warn them of the consequences.

The authorities will also expand pilot projects that require newly nominated officials to disclose their private assets.

A regulation will be drawn up and applied to officials whose spouses have migrated.

The plan states that the Party faces tests in governing, reform and opening-up and risks from being too distant from the people as well as danger from corruption.

It must "deepen the struggle for Party governance and clean government and fight corruption to ensure that it always maintains the firmness of its core leadership".

The plan outlines areas that will receive particular attention, such as protests and accidents like mine disasters that occur because of corrupt officials.

It also said the Party will pay particular attention to corruption that happens during economic reforms, including the reorganization of powerful State-owned industries.

"Commercial bribery will be handled sternly and probed, and punishments for giving bribes will be harsher," it said.

"The report showcases the Party's resolution in combating corruption in the next five years, focusing on both solving problems on the surface and eradicating their roots," said Ma Huaide, vice president of China University of Political Science and Law.

The CPC has been severe on corruption, with some 108,000 officials punished in the first nine months of this year. At least 15 officials at, and above, ministerial level have been investigated since then.

After the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, held last month, anti-graft authorities have taken unprecedented measures against corruption, and at least three ministerial-level officials have been investigated this month.

The CPC confirmed on Wednesday that Li Dongsheng, former vice minister of public security, had been removed from his various posts for "suspected serious disciplinary violations."

Li, also former deputy head of a central leading group for the prevention and handling of cult-related issues, was sacked for "suspected serious disciplinary violations," according to a statement released by the Party's top personnel agency.

A week ago, Tong Ming-qian, vice-chairman of the political advisory body for Hunan province, was investigated for suspected serious law and discipline violations.

"Top-level design is a must if we want the anti-corruption drive to be efficient," said Jiang Ming'an, professor with the Peking University's Law School.

According to Jiang, the report is such an integrated and coordinated effort to ensure that officials dare not, cannot and will not easily commit corruption.

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