No Tolerance to Corruption, Jiang Told New York Times

The attitude of the Chinese government towards corruption is that "we will fight corruption unswervingly, unremittingly and without showing any tolerance or mercy," Chinese President Jiang Zemin made the remarks in his recent interview with The New York Times.

"We have always believed that to combat corruption and build a clean government is an important guarantee for a smooth reform, opening-up and modernization drive," he said in the interview on August 8.

He also pointed out that corruption, as a social and historical phenomenon, has existed in all countries in the past and at present.

"None of the countries in the world today can claim that it has completely eliminated corruption," he said. "The only difference in this regard is that corruption is more serious in some countries than others."

According to the Chinese president, as China is in a transition from the planned economy to a socialist market economy, its various systems need to be improved. In addition, there are vestiges of feudal ideas that have existed for thousands of years. "All these have given corruption the hotbed to breed and spread and have added difficulties to our campaign against corruption," he said.

Jiang said that "To combat corruption and build a clean government calls for efforts not just to address the symptoms, but more importantly to tackle the rootcauses."

To this end, Jiang stressed that "Education lays the groundwork, law serves as a guarantee and supervision holds the key."

"We should get rid of the soil that breeds corruption through deepening reform," he said.

Democratic elections and media supervision will help check corruption, he said. "We have made many efforts in all these areas and achieved positive results."

The leading cadres of the Communist Party of China, leading officials of governments at all levels and deputies to the people' s congresses at all levels are all elected, he said.

Democratic elections encourage officials to be honest and just and stay away from corruption, he said.

Conditions in China have decided that China's election system will not be exactly the same as that in Western countries, he said. "And it is not necessary to have exactly the same election system."

The media supervision is an important part of people's supervision, he said. Chinese media have played an important role in supervising governmental officials. Many newspapers, TV stations, radio and other media have columns or programs devoted specifically to the anti-graft issue and have in fact exposed quite a lot of problems, he said.

(People's Daily 08/13/2001)

In This Series

New York Times Interviews Chinese President

More Officials Punished for Corruption



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