Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has underlined the importance of stepping up measures against corruption.
Wen pledged to give priority to dealing with briberies in commercial activities, continuing to resolve persistent problems that have infringed upon people's interests and strengthening the management of public servants.
The Premier made the remarks at the State Council's fourth working conference on Friday on the issue of building a clean government in response to the recent Sixth Plenary Meeting of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), at which President Hu Jintao made a key-note speech.
Participants of the State Council meeting included Vice-Premiers Wu Yi, Zeng Peiyan and Hui Liangyu, and State-Councilors Zhou Yongkang, Tang Jiaxuan, Chen Zhili and Hua Jianmin. Hua, who is also secretary-general of the State Council, presided over the meeting.
Wu Guanzheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, and He Yong, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, were invited to attend the State Council meeting.
In his speech, Wen recalled the progress the State Council had made in building a clean government. He went on to point out that corruption has been rampant in some industries and sectors, which "has become a major polluter of economic and social life."
Efforts should be made to deal with commercial briberies in the fields of infrastructure projects, land transfer, property rights' trading, purchase and sale of pharmaceuticals, and exploration and sale of resources, the premier said. He called for severe punishment on government staffs who have abused their powers to participate in business activities.
In his speech, Wen called for promoting structural reforms and improving laws and regulations.
He called for great efforts to deal with outstanding problems that had damaged the interests of the people, include illegal charges in the educational sector and briberies involved in medical service and pharmaceuticals sales. He pledged to continue investigating the issue of coal-mine investment by government staff workers and state company leaders.
Also present were leaders of central government departments as well as representatives of non-communist parties and non-party-affiliation figures.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2006)