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Transparency a graft buster
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Luxurious urban construction projects should be monitored by the public, says an article in the Procuratorial Daily. The following is an excerpt:

Changzhou has spent 7 million yuan building an overpass that is claimed to be the best of its kind in Jiangsu province. According to media reports, the city will build another three similar overpasses.

To give urban landscapes a facelift, cities in China are racing to create construction records, resulting in a surge of urban expenditures.

The distribution of social public wealth has thus become more and more unequal between urban and rural regions. Health clinics and schoolhouses in the remote countryside are usually dilapidated due to lack of capital. If those cities can set aside part of their obtuse construction budgets to support the development of rural regions, it will benefit a large number of rural people.

The refusal by the local government to reveal the details of construction leaves us wondering whether corruption has snuck into it. Construction projects are breeding grounds for graft, after all, and the government shouldn't hide details from the public.

(China Daily February 24, 2009)

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