Encouraged by the progress made in China's battle against corruption,
people across the country and their representatives at the top
legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), are still
eager for more achievements.
official? An executive of a State company? Or a village head?
This is a much asked question about who will be the next target
of China's mounting anti-corruption campaign after a series
of corruption scandals have been exposed and criminals punished.
"We are still
investigating some big cases," said Cao Qingze, deputy
secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
of the Communist Party of China, but he was tight-lipped about
details at the ongoing NPC session.
"We must draw
a lesson from these scandals and take a serious attitude towards
the issue, and build a clean government through self-discipline,"
said Fujian Governor Xi Jinping, a deputy to the NPC.
efforts were intensified last year and remain a hot topic
at the current NPC annual session. Last year China sentenced
former Jiangxi Deputy Governor Hu Changqing and NPC Standing
Committee Vice-Chairman Cheng Kejie to death. Cheng was the
highest-ranking official executed since 1949.
investigated the Xiamen smuggling case in Fujian Province,
said to be the most notorious smuggling scandal in Chinese
history. Major culprits including several senior officials
campaign has also revealed that some corrupt Communist Party
officials have connections with a criminal gang in the northern
city of Shenyang.
According to Han
Zhubin, the head of the Supreme People's Procuratorate who
delivered a work report at the NPC session on Saturday, 45,000
corrupt cases were investigated last year and seven corrupt
officials at the ministerial or provincial level were punished,
in addition to thousands of lower-ranking officials.
"We have been
all shocked by the news of corruption," said an NPC deputy
from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. "It is pretty
clear that corruption is endangering the position of the Communist
Some experts say
that corruption is commonplace when a country is transforming
its economy from an old model to a new one, a course China
Premier Zhu Rongji
admitted in his report to the NPC session last Monday that
"graft and corruption are still serious" and called
for a "further struggle." Party discipline departments
have already launched a new campaign this year to pursue their
Many deputies think
that the fact that an increasing number of scandals have been
exposed and those responsible punished is evidence the anti-corruption
campaign has produced noticeable results. They say it does
not indicate that corruption is becoming even more rampant.
"Most of the
evil goings-on emerged several years ago and were only discovered
recently. We are grateful that the Party has begun to kill
'big tigers,' and be more resolute in fighting corruption,"
said one deputy.
Most deputies said
the ongoing battle would greatly frighten officials who dare
to violate the rules. "I think many of them are considering
stopping their crimes," said Zhou Jiachun, from Shanghai.
The number of corrupt
cases has decreased in the finance, construction and government
purchasing sectors, according to Li Xueqin, an official with
the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese
Communist Party. He predicted that corruption would be even
more significantly curbed within the next five years. What
is more significant is that last year's investigations and
punishments of corruption have triggered further reform within
Liu Xiaofeng, director
of the Transportation Bureau of Sichuan Province and a deputy
to the NPC, said the bureau has abolished its old methods
of selecting cadres after the bureau's former director was
sentenced to death last year for taking bribes by manipulating
the highway construction bid.
Sun Yongfu, vice-minister
of railways, said anti-corruption is a critical issue in building
the planned Qinghai-Tibet railway over the next five years.
"We have decided to invite public bidding through newspapers
and the Internet to ensure fair competition," he said.
Gan Yuping, an
NPC deputy and vice-mayor of Chongqing, in charge of the farmers'
relocation in the Three Gorges Dam project said the city created
a transparent system to enable the work to be supervised by
the public after officials were punished for embezzling migration
funds last year.
As a matter of
fact, most deputies do not agree the death penalty is the
best solution. "The anti-corruption campaign has entered
a new stage, that is, while punishing corrupt officials, we
are making more efforts to eliminate the root of corruption,"
Cao Qingze said.
the concept of 'governing the country through moral approach',"
said Ding Jiemin, the mayor of Taizhou in the economically-prosperous
Jiangsu Province. "It is a better remedy to eliminate
The concept was
put forward by President Jiang Zemin early this year and is
in keeping with the principle of "governing the country
according to law."
Shi Liwen, an NPC
deputy and president of China's number one construction conglomerate,
based in Shanghai, said he felt proud that few corruption
scandals have been reported in the city.
He said that the
law awareness of Shanghai residents and the city's improved
supervision system have contributed to this.
"In the city,
from officials to citizens, people have become more accustomed
to doing things according to the law," he said.
Reports say that
Shanghai is ready to create a modern system under which the
government's function is to provide services to companies
and citizens, and bureaucratism and authoritarianism, the
hot bed of corruption, will be buried.