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Over 140,000 officials hand in bribes
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A total of 140,660 Chinese officials have voluntarily turned bribes they have accepted over to higher authorities in past five years, China's disciplinary watchdog said in Beijing Saturday.

The bribes, including cash, marketable securities and pay orders, were valued at about 676 million yuan (US$89.18 million), according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China.

During the same period, 6,828 officials have been punished for taking cash, marketable securities, pay orders, gift moneys by violating government anti-corruption regulations, while 16,411 officials have been punished for gambling, sources with CCDI said.

China has beefed up its fight against corruption. During this period of time, China has punished 16 ministerial-level or higher officials for "serious corruption" including Chen Liangyu, former Shanghai Party Chief, Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of State Food and Drug Administration and Qiu Xiaohua, former head of the National Bureau of Statistics.

At the same time, China introduced more approaches to tackle the thorny problem. Besides the government investigation and people's tips, China have encouraged people to confess their wrongdoings and turn over the bribes they have accepted.

CCDI issued a set of regulations targeting corruption that took effect on May 30, urging officials who have traded power for money to confess their crimes before the end of June in return for leniency.

Just in one month alone, 1,790 persons voluntarily reported their misconduct, involving 77.89 million yuan (US$10.2 million), Gan Yisheng, CCDI spokesman, said at a press conference.

Gan said the regulations were effective since they laid the basis for the government to investigate cases involving violation of party discipline and they also provided an opportunity for those who had made mistakes to make corrections.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2007)

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