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Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Achievements
UPDATED: January 17, 2011 NO. 3 JANUARY 20, 2011
A Long-Way Campaign
China is sparing no efforts to combat corruption under a tough situation

The CCDI plenary session's communiqué says measures will be adopted to stop governments from holding excessive numbers of ceremonies, seminars and forums.

Experts said excessive celebrations, seminars and forums have constituted a new form of corruption.

"Many large forums, most of little meaning, use government funds directly or indirectly," said Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

To regulate the behavior of senior officials, the CCDI has pledged to firmly punish those who illegally accepted gifts and traveled abroad for private purposes at government expense.

Analysts noted that the abnormal surge of administrative costs in China is closely related to excessive and unsupervised spending of public money on cars, trips and dining by officials.

Efforts will be made to improve the efficiency of the use of official business cars, says the communiqué of the CCDI plenary session.

The central authorities will soon issue new and strict regulations on cars purchased with public money, so that less expensive cars would be purchased, according to Wu Yuliang, Secretary General of the CCDI.

Meanwhile, major scandals in China have erupted in recent years involving corrupt officials fleeing abroad with family members and illegal income to avoid prosecution under China's laws.

On July 28, 2010, Dong Yuejin, former Assistant to the General Manager of China International Telecommunication Corp., was tried by the Beijing No.2 Intermediate People's Court, on charges of pilfering 580 million yuan ($84.92 million) of public money and of taking millions more in bribes.

According to reports, Dong's wife and son have emigrated to the United States and most of the money has also been transferred to foreign accounts.

"Those officials, such as Dong, are so-called 'naked officials,'" said Professor Lin. "They escape trouble by moving their spouse and children, along with their assets, to a foreign country."

"They plan ahead by depositing money in accounts under the name of their spouse or children. Even if they are apprehended, the cash transferred to overseas banks often remain the property of family members," she said.

Previous reports said that more than 4,000 officials have fled to foreign countries with 100 million yuan ($15.16 million) in loot in the past three decades.

Lin said the best way to uproot such problems was to establish a system for the declaration of officials' assets.

On July 11 last year, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and General Office of the State Council issued a new regulation, stipulating officials at the deputy county head level and above are required to report their family members' jobs as well as their family's assets and investment.

The regulation increases the categories of items to be reported by officials.

The newly added items include the official's salary and subsidies, income from other sources such as lecturing, housing owned by whole family members, household investment in unlisted companies, household investment in stocks and investment-oriented insurance and other financing products and the employment of spouse and children at home or abroad.

Officials are required to report yearly to the organization departments of Party committees. Organization and discipline departments, as well as prosecutors, can check the reports after going through proper procedures, the new rule says.

The new regulation also makes it clear that those who fail to make timely reports, or report fake or incomplete information, could face dismissal or discipline.

However, according to Zhu, the new regulation fails to make a breakthrough in terms of making officials' assets transparent.

While the regulation requires officials to report to higher officials, it does not make that information public.

"Transparency is the best way to fight corruption. It's a pity the new rule does not require publicizing officials' assets," he said.

Lin said strong opposition from officials prevented China from adopting an asset declaration system that would make information about officials' finances public.

"Therefore, the new regulation is a compromise. Its actual effect remains limited," she said.

Ren Jianming, Director of the Anti-Corruption Research Center of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, said, ideally such a mechanism would contain five steps: clarification of who should report and what should be reported, procedures of reporting, release of the details in the reports, examination on whether the reports are true and punishments for those who fail to report properly.

Meanwhile, Professor Li at Peking University stresses the importance of cooperation with other governments in combating corruption.

"Only cooperation with other countries can solve the problem of repatriating fleeing officials caused by the policy and law differences between China and other countries," Li said.

2010 Facts and Figures

A total of 5,098 officials at the county head level or above were punished and 804 officials were referred for prosecution.

To supervise the implementation of the 4-trillion-yuan ($586 billion) economic stimulation package, the CCDI sent 24 inspection teams to carry out five rounds of checks on 6,091 projects.

A total of 15,600 corruption cases in the construction sector were investigated, while 9,349 people were disciplined or received administrative punishment and 5,150 were prosecuted.

As of December 10, 2010, 25,738 "small coffers," holding 12.7 billion yuan ($1.86 billion), had been uncovered in government and public institutions and 19,855 "small coffers," containing 8.8 billion yuan ($1.29 billion), were discovered in state-owned enterprises.

The budget for government-funded travels abroad was reduced by 415 million yuan ($60.76 million) in 2010 from the level of 2009.

The budget to buy and maintain government-owned vehicles dropped by 1.7 billion yuan ($248.9 million) in 2010 from 2009.

The budget for the reception for public purposes was cut by 3.63 billion yuan ($531.48 million) in 2010 from 2009.

In the first three quarters of 2010, 87,444 officials traveled abroad, 47.4 percent lower than the average level during the same period from 2006 to 2008, as expenses also dropped by 42.4 percent.

The CCDI investigated and corrected 4,690 cases of illegally confiscating farm land from farmers or forcing farmers to transfer their right to use farm land.

A total of 1.67 million officials nationwide reported personal affairs such as property, changes of marital situation, private travels abroad and financial affairs of their spouses and children to anti-graft agencies, in compliance with a new regulation issued in 2010.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency) 

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