III. Legal Framework for Combating Corruption and Building a Clean Government
China adheres to the rule of law as a fundamental principle, attaches importance to the regulating and safeguarding role of laws and regulations, and continuously promotes legalization and standardization in the fight against corruption and the building of a clean government. Based on the Constitution of China, a series of laws and regulations have been enacted for combating corruption and building a clean government, and based on the Constitution of the CPC, a series of intra-Party rules and regulations have been worked out, thus gradually establishing a legal framework for combating corruption and building a clean government with scientific contents, rigorous procedures, well-matched regulations and effective administration.
In order to ensure that leading cadres work in a clean and honest way, the CPC has issued a series of codes of conduct and ethical rules for Party members who hold leading positions, and is building and improving a system to prevent conflicts of interest. The Guidelines of the Communist Party of China for Party-member Leading Cadres to Perform Official Duties with Integrity, released for trial implementation in 1997 and for implementation after revision in 2010, clearly prohibit Party-member leading cadres engaging in profit-making activities and seeking illegitimate gains by taking advantage of their positions and power in violation of the established rules. The Guidelines have provided relatively comprehensive regulations on Party-member leading cadres in performing their official duties with integrity under the conditions of the socialist market economy, and have thus become the basic intra-Party rules regulating the behavior of Party-member leading cadres. In view of the new situation and problems arising in power-for-money cases, the CPC promulgated the Regulations of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China on the Strict Prohibition of Seeking Illegitimate Gains by Misuse of Office in 2007, specifying methods of handling eight types of misconduct of Party-member cadres, including abuse of power for personal gain, which might appear during economic and social interactions. The Regulations on the Executives of State-owned Enterprises for Performing Management Duties with Integrity (Trial) released in 2009 clearly prohibit leading officials of state-owned enterprises from seeking profit through misuse of office for either themselves or any related parties and undermining the interests of the enterprises. To regulate leading cadres' performance of official duties with integrity, a number of regulations have been promulgated, including the Regulations on Implementing the System of Registration for Gifts Received in Domestic Social Activities by Functionaries of Party and State Organs, which clearly demand that the functionaries of Party and state organs must not accept any gifts or grants that might influence their impartial performance of official duties; the Regulations on Leading Cadres' Report of Relevant Personal Matters, which requires leading cadres to honestly report their incomes, housing and investment owned or made either by themselves or together with their spouses and children living with them, as well as the employment status of their spouses and children; and the Interim Regulations on Strengthening Management of State Functionaries Whose Spouses and Children Have Emigrated Abroad. These regulations play an important role in safeguarding the national interests and in the management of Party members and state functionaries in accordance with the law, as well as in enhancing the sense of leading cadres in performing their official duties with integrity.
To ensure the proper exercise of public power, China has enacted a series of laws and regulations to strengthen restraint and supervision over the exercise of power by leading cadres. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Supervision of Standing Committees of People's Congresses at All Levels enacted in 2007 strengthened the supervisory role of those committees in the form of law over the administrative, judicial and procuratorial powers of the people's governments, people's courts and people's procuratorates at corresponding levels. Also enacted are the Law of the People's Republic of China on Administrative Supervision, Audit Law of the People's Republic of China, Administrative Reconsideration Law of the People's Republic of China, Administrative Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China to establish the systems of administrative supervision, audit supervision, administrative reconsideration and administrative procedure to strengthen supervision over the administrative organs and their staff. The CPC Central Committee formulated the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Intra-Party Supervision (Trial), Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Inspection Work (Trial), Interim Measures on Conducting Admonition Talks and Written Inquiries with Party-member Leading Cadres, and Interim Regulations on Report by Party-member Leading Cadres on Their Work and Integrity, institutionalizing and improving various aspects of intra-Party supervision.
To crack down on corruption in line with law and discipline, China has been enacting and continuously improving substantive laws and regulations that punish violations of law and discipline, including criminal punishment, Party discipline and administrative discipline. In the case of criminal punishment, by formulating and revising the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, the liabilities of corruption-related crimes, such as embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty, holding a huge amount of property with an unidentified source, have been defined. The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate have worked out relevant judicial interpretations for the law, making them an important legal basis for punishing crimes of corruption. In the case of Party discipline, the CPC promulgated the Regulations on Disciplinary Sanctions of the Communist Party of China and supporting provisions, which clearly define conducts of Party members that go against the Party's stipulations for clean government and self-discipline, embezzlement and bribery, as well as acts in violation of financial and economic discipline, and prescribe five measures for enforcing Party discipline: explicit warning, stern warning, removal from post within the Party, probation within the Party and expulsion from the Party. In the case of administrative discipline, the state has promulgated the Regulations on the Punishment of Civil Servants in Administrative Organs, which specify the principles, power limit, the types of misconduct and the punishment standards, including explicit warning, recording of demerit, recording of major demerit, demotion, dismissal from post and discharge from office.
China attaches great importance to enacting and improving procedural laws to guarantee the enforcement of the aforementioned substantive laws and regulations. The Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, Criminal Procedure of the People's Procuratorates and Measures of Supervisory Organs for the Investigation and Handling of Administrative Disciplinary Cases by the state legislature, judicial authorities and relevant organs, as well as the regulations enacted by the CPC, including the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Inspection Work of Disciplinary Inspection Organs, provide a legal basis for the acceptance, investigation, trial and appeal work in respect of criminal and discipline-breaching cases, and have established systems of witness and reporter protection, case transfer and coordination, as well as the system of the protection of the rights of the defendants and those being sanctioned.
In addition, China has enacted a series of laws and regulations closely related to corruption prevention. The Administrative License Law of the People's Republic of China regulates the establishment and implementation of administrative licenses, and guarantees and supervises the effective administration of administrative organs. The Civil Servant Law of the People's Republic of China regulates the management of civil servants and strengthens supervision over civil servants, so as to make them diligent and honest in performing their official duties. The Government Procurement Law of the People's Republic of China, Anti-monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China and Bidding Law of the People's Republic of China regulate administrative discretion and give play to the market's fundamental role in allocation of resources so as to effectively prevent corruption. The Judges Law of the People's Republic of China, Procurators Law of the People's Republic of China and People's Police Law of the People's Republic of China clearly stipulate the qualifications, administration and supervision of judicial officers, and fortify the requirement of law enforcement with integrity. In accordance with the Constitution and state laws, the various localities and departments have also enacted and issued their own local and departmental regulations to combat corruption, thereby improving the legal framework for combating corruption and building a clean government in China.
To further develop and improve the legal framework for combating corruption and building a clean government, China will attach greater importance to the implementation of laws and regulations, while enacting new laws and regulations and amending existing ones in this regard in accordance with the changing situations in the future.