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Web Trap
Cover Stories Series 2013> Web Trap
UPDATED: January 7, 2013 NO. 2 JANUARY 10, 2013
A New Means of Supervision

In 2012, the Internet not only changed people's way of life, but also altered the fate of certain Chinese officials. Microblogging offered a new means of exposing corruption online. Some experts say that microblogs have grown from a tool of information publication and social interaction to a means of supervising the government.

Microblogging has become a powerful anti-corruption weapon due to its ability to quickly and widely spread information. A photo or video exposing corruption, uploaded to a microblog, can grab enormous amounts of attention with considerable effect.

Successful anti-corruption cases in 2012 followed similar lines: an insider would expose corruption via a microblog, the message of which would spread far and wide before other media channels picked up on the incident. Such efforts have ultimately led to the expulsion of corrupt officials.

Thanks to the rapid development of information technology, microblogs are playing an increasingly important role in keeping tabs on government wrongdoing, human trafficking and violence, actively involving the Chinese people in politics.

However, despite exposing corruption, microblogs still offer little in terms of solving the problem. China needs to make governmental affairs more transparent, enhance supervision, strengthen disciplinary inspection and restrict official power according to law.

Xi Jinping, newly elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said that if corruption goes unchecked, Party rule will be jeopardized. He stressed that anti-corruption will remain a top priority for the Chinese Government. In November 2012, immediately after the 18th CPC National Congress, a number of government officials, including some at the ministerial level, were investigated for corruption. Li Chuncheng, former Deputy Secretary of the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the CPC, was expelled from his post for serious disciplinary violations only 18 days after being elected as an alternate member of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Such anti-corruption efforts reflect the Party's increasing determination to fight the problem.

It is hoped that microblogs would continue their role in fighting corruption and that an effective system will be established to prevent such incidents.

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