A senior Chinese official on Wednesday urged central government departments to devote themselves to fighting against corruption this year.
He Yong, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), stressed at a meeting in Beijing that central government departments should improve the education, supervision and self-discipline of leading cadres.
"Good ethics, which will form a defense barrier against temptation and corruption, are of top priority in efforts to build a clean government," said He.
He called for investigations into major graft cases to be strengthened and sterner punishments to be imposed.
"More efforts should be made to handle prominent problems related to food and drug security, labor security and damage of farmers' interests caused by power abuse, bribery or dereliction of duty," he said.
He also asked state departments to learn from President Hu Jintao's speech at the CCDI's seventh plenary session, which called for a more severe and systematic crackdown on corruption.
A total of 3,128 cases directly involving government employees and 968 million yuan (US$121 million) were uncovered between August 2005 and June 2006, the commission said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2007)