Corruption should be rooted out to create a better environment

By Xu Lifan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 24, 2015
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[By Zhao Naiyu/Xinhua]

The growing power of environmental protection administrations in China in recent years, which has not been balanced with an effective monitoring system, has spawned numerous cases of corruption.

According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), environmental protection administrations across the country have been rife with bribery, nepotism and improper market interventions which have led to many false assessments of environmental conditions.

As an accurate assessment is a preliminary step ahead of any decisions made by the government, false environmental reports are detrimental not only to local environment but also the entire economy of the country.

Due to the dire situation of the environment, environmental administrations have been given more powers, including the veto rights to investments and projects. In view of the current environmental conditions, such an expansion of power is reasonable.

But a supervision system has not been built in time to match increases in power, accordingly many veto rights have been manipulated by personal will, making bribery easy and possible.

It is generally known that the severe punishment of corruption should be followed by the establishment of monitoring systems. But, corruption in environmental assessments remains a conundrum because governmental power can neither be relegated, nor be supervised inside the same system.

Therefore, external forces, such as civil governance and public participation, should be welcomed to ease government pressure.

Besides, the environmental protection administrations should not interfere in the technical market to ensure the correctness and fairness of environmental assessments.

It is possible that the environmental administrations will undergo a major transformation after the discipline inspection. However, fundamental change should first be guaranteed to insulate those administrations from market interests so that they can become as neutral as possible. This is the reform that society is expecting.

The author is a columnist and opinion writer for the China Times.

The article was first published in Chinese and translated by Wu Jin.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of

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