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China Signs UN Treaty Against Corruption

China on Wednesday signed the UN Convention Against Corruption, saying the pact will contribute to global social and economic development.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui signed the document on behalf of the Chinese government during a high-level political conference in the city of Merida, in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan.

In his speech, Zhang reaffirmed the Chinese government's determination to fight corruption and its stand on strengthening international cooperation in the field.

"We are ready to work with other countries to create a healthy environment to promote economic and social development in China and other countries," he added.

The agreement, which is expected to be signed by 125 nations over the next three years, will take effect after it is ratified by 30 signatory countries.

Zhang said China has always been active in formulating a legal instrument against corruption worldwide.

China's position during the negotiations has been "sincere, cooperative and realistic" and China has contributed positively to the establishment of the treaty, said the vice minister.

In order to implement the treaty in China, a code of conduct is being developed for the public services at every level of government to foster self-discipline in the administration, he said.

More than 120 countries attended the three-day meeting of which90 expressed their readiness to sign the document, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said.

The agreement establishes for the first time a consensus-based framework to combat at an international level embezzlement, money laundering, bribery and illicit enrichment.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2003)

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