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China to Build Independent Anti-dereliction of Duty System

The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced in June that prosecuting bodies at all levels all over China have instituted bureaus of anti-dereliction of duty which are vertically directed by the SPP and aim to beef up efforts to fight dereliction of duty by officials.

The building of the independent anti-dereliction of duty system will help local prosecuting bodies resolutely implement the order from the SPP and investigate official's dereliction of duty without governmental interference, said a SPP spokesperson.

Previously, the SPP only had a similar organizational system for the fight against corruption. The SPP and local prosecuting organs all had Anti-corruption Bureaus. The establishment of new anti-dereliction of duty bureaus demonstrates that the SPP for the first time put the fight against official's corruption and the fight against official's dereliction of duties on a par.

For a long time now, Chinese society has showed great anger toward government corruption. Yet it has shown sympathy toward official's dereliction of duties, thinking that it might be caused by innocent work errors. In recent years, people have gradually found that the official's dereliction of duties, in fact, has caused very severe life and economic losses and should be prevented and controlled by prosecuting organs with the same strength given to corruption, said Prof. Zhou Qihua, with the State Prosecutor College.

The spokesperson also disclosed that more prosecuting professionals will be appointed to work for the bureaus of the anti-dereliction of duty. In early 2004, the SPP selected nearly 200 out of the country's more than 10,000 prosecutors to particularly take charge of the probe of dereliction of duty and form a duty dereliction investigation team. The team, after undergoing special training, will shoulder the task of investigating China's major and most notorious dereliction of duty cases.

In a bid to facilitate prosecutor's investigation on dereliction of duty, the SPP, together with the State Council, has worked out the standards for starting prosecuting investigations in 42 kinds of dereliction.

In recent years, China has suffered rampant official dereliction.

In February 2004, Sun Yong and Chen Bainian, two police officers in charge of a Beijing suburb police station, were sentenced to three years in jail for dereliction of duty in a major stampede case, which took place on Feb. 5 during the lantern festival of China's Spring Festival on a bridge in Mihong Park in the Miyun County suburbs and killed 37 people.

In March 2004, Jia Anqing, former director of the Shaanxi Provincial Sports Lottery Center, and five other local cadres involved in the notorious Xi'an lottery fraud, were detained for dereliction of duty.

During the fraud incident, a contractor of lottery tickets cheated on top prizes, a BMW car and 120,000 yuan (US$14,458), by making marks on lottery tickets and employing four persons to falsely claim the top prizes.

In June 2004, nine officials were sacked or received disciplinary penalties for failing to prevent the sale and use fake milk powder which led to 13 deaths and the malnutrition of 189 babies in Fuyang City, east China's Anhui Province.

In 2004, Yuan Jingwu and Liu Zhigeng, two police officers working for a police station in Bazhou city of north China's Hebei Province were put on file for prosecution after they beat a criminal suspect to death during interrogation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2005)

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