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China Fights Corruption to Enhance Work Safety
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China plans to get tougher on those who take bribes for ignoring safety regulations as most industrial accidents were found to involve corruption.


"We'll target officials who turn a blind eye or cover up illegal manufacturing and production," said Song Hansong, deputy director of the work-related crimes section of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP).


Song said SPP is investigating 14 major industrial accidents, each of which resulted in more than 30 deaths, since last year.


Nearly 80 officials involved in eight of the cases were punished for corruption and dereliction of duty, Song revealed at a recent forum.


"Investigation results show that more than 60 percent of accidents took place in medium and small coal pits, revealing a lack of supervision in this sector as officials were found to take bribes or were given some ownership in the mine," he said.


Some local officials act as an "umbrella" for unsafe mines, providing a variety of backdoor services including authorizing operating licenses even though basic standards have not been met, he said.


Last year in China, nearly 6,000 workers in the coal mining industry were killed on the job.


(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2006)


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