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Int'l Links Called for to Battle Corruption

China, now standing at a critical juncture of reform and development, should strengthen cooperation with other countries in combating transnational corruption, a senior Chinese official said yesterday.

"Against a backdrop of growing economic globalization and regionalization, increased international cooperation in the fight against corruption is urgently needed," State Councillor Hua Jianmin said at the opening of the Fifth Regional Anti-corruption Conference for Asia and the Pacific.

Xinhua News Agency reported that more than 4,000 corrupt Chinese officials have fled abroad in recent years, carrying with them 5 billion yuan (US$616 million) in illicit funds.

Speaking about anti-corruption co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region, Hua stressed that different countries should respect one another's sovereignty and choose their own methods of fighting the problem.

Co-operation should involve a step-by-step and pragmatic approach, said Hua.

Geert van der Linden, vice-president of Asian Development Bank (ADB), said corruption leads to the loss of up to one-third of the public investment in many Asia-Pacific countries.

He suggested that establishing a co-operative mechanism could wipe out corruption in the region.

After more than 20 years of efforts, China has curbed corruption as a whole, Huang Shuxian, vice-minister of supervision, said.

Statistics from Huang's ministry indicated that more than 30,000 cadres, including 100 above director-general level, have been punished since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2002.

(China Daily September 29, 2005)

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