New strategy urged in fight against corruption

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 1, 2011
Adjust font size: At present, the Internet is growing rapidly in China. China has 230 million Weibo (microblog) users. Weibo is not only a useful channel to promote the anti-corruption campaign and the governments' transparent image, but also a platform to reveal the corruption and nonfeasance of officials. What do you think about open government and online anti-corruption efforts?

Wang Minggao: Open government aims to enhance the transparency of decision-making, administration and supervision and to bring the whole process of administration out into the sunlight where the public can keep an eye on it. It is a permanent cure to abuse of power. And open supervision means overseeing administrators in a comprehensive, timely and effective way. Weibo's development has changed the one-way nature of supervision.

Online anti-corruption efforts involve the conflict of officials' right to privacy and public's right to know. It's a common phenomenon in modern society. The public has the right to know the officials' personal information, such as their birth date, age, working experience, property, family etc., because government officials are representatives of the public interest and players in public affairs. Their personal information will have an impact on public affairs.

But as human beings, officials also have their own right to privacy. How to solve the conflict is the question for open government, and once was the major obstacle to implementing the practice.

After a long time discussion weighing of pros and cons, many countries have adopted the principle that the public interest should come before the individuals'. That is to say, the right to know trumps the right to privacy in this case. As Engles once pointed out, personal privacy generally should be protected, but when those private matters concern important public interests, privacy no longer holds the same weight. Do you have any suggestions on how to win the battle against corruption?

Wang Minggao: China should establish a law on corruption prevention and punishment that touches on education, checks on power and personal property supervision. The first policy is a family property declaration system that requires the declaration, registration and publication of officials' family property. It is an important measure to curb the corruption at the grassroots and the core of a scientific anti-corruption system.

The second policy is a financial system that requires every citizen to use their real name when opening an account at any financial institution or making any financial transactions. This way, all transactions can be recorded and monitored. Implementing this real name policy can make sources of personal income more transparent and corrupt behavior easier to track. Bribery and embezzlement would not survive under such a system.

The third and fourth measures are a legacy tax and a gift tax. Implementing a legacy tax and a gift tax in China would weaken the motive behind corruption and capture some gray and illegal income as tax dollars for the government. This tax revenue could then be redistributed to narrow the income gap between the rich and the poor.

The fifth policy is issuing a unique credit security number to each Chinese citizen. A national credit database based on these numbers would allow the government to build an advanced credit system and manage it strictly. Any illegal behavior could be recorded in one's credit history and affect one's interest directly. Such a policy is not only good for rebuilding the credit system, improving the social security system and decreasing the crime rate. It would also help cut off the channels for illegal profits made by corrupt officials to flow out of the country.

A comprehensive law would leave no room for corrupt officials to escape punishment. At present, more than 30 countries have enacted anti-corruption laws detailing the identification, conviction, classification and punishment of corruption. These laws have provided the necessary legal basis and measures for anti-corruption campaigns and deterred corrupt officials from impropriety.

(This interview was conducted in Chinese and translated by Yang Xi and Li Shen.)


   Previous   1   2  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from