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UPDATED: January 4, 2011 NO. 1 JANUARY 6, 2011
Corruption Sweep

China expresses its resolve to strengthen the fight against corruption in its first white paper on anti-graft efforts.

The white paper, titled China's Efforts to Combat Corruption and Build a Clean Government, was issued by the Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, on December 29, 2010.

It says, over the years, China has put into place a leadership system and a working mechanism with Chinese characteristics, in which Communist Party of China (CPC) committees conduct unified leadership of the work, the Party and government both administer it, discipline inspection commissions of the Party organize and coordinate it, different departments take their due responsibilities related to it, and the masses support and participate in the endeavor.

Social organizations, news media and the public play a significant role in making suggestions and offering advice, participating in supervision, and uncovering corruption, the white paper says.

The white paper says, in recent years, the Internet has served as a new platform for public supervision.

Meanwhile, China has gradually established an effective legal framework for combating corruption and striving for clean governance with rigorous procedures, the white paper says.

China adheres to the rule of law as a fundamental principle, and continuously promotes legalization and standardization in the fight against corruption and the building of a clean government, it says.

To ensure the proper use of public power, China has enacted a series of laws and regulations to strengthen supervision of power of officials, according to the white paper.

These laws include the Law on the Supervision of the Standing Committees of the People's Congresses at Various Levels, the Law on Administrative Supervision, the Audit Law, the Administrative Reconside-ration Law, and the Administrative Proce-dure Law.

In a bid to institutionalize and improve various aspects of intra-Party supervision, the CPC Central Committee has formulated regulations on inter-Party supervision and inspection work as well as other similar supervisory regulations, says the white paper. To crack down on corruption, 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.

China has revised the Criminal Law and worked out relevant judicial interpretations for the law, which provides an important legal basis for punishing crimes of corruption, according to the white paper.

On Party discipline, the CPC has promulgated the Regulations on Disciplinary Sanctions and supporting provisions, which clearly defines the prohibited conducts and prescribes punishment measures, the white paper says.

China's legislature and judiciary and the CPC have all enacted procedural laws including the Criminal Procedure Law and the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Inspection Work of Disciplinary Inspection Organs.

In addition, China has enacted a series of laws and regulations closely related to corruption prevention such as the Administrative License Law which regulates the establishment and implementation of administrative licenses, and the Civil Servant Law which regulates the management of civil servants and strengthens supervision of civil servants, according to the white paper.

China has deepened the reform in the system of administrative examination and approval, says the white paper.

The Chinese Government has sped up the separation of government functions from those of enterprises, state asset management authorities, public institutions and market-based intermediaries to accelerate the transformation of government functions, according to the white paper.

"China adheres to the principles of democracy, openness, competition and merit in establishing a scientific mechanism for selecting and appointing cadres as well as a management and monitoring mechanisms in this regard," says the white paper.

Efforts have also been made to deepen the reform of the judicial system and working mechanism, aimed at safeguarding judicial justice and establishing a fair, efficient and authoritative socialist judicial system, the white paper says.

In addition, further reforms have been launched in the systems of fiscal management, investment and finance to prevent and control corruption in these fields.

From 2003 to 2009, prosecutors investigated more than 240,000 cases of embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty and rights infringements, according to the white paper.

Over 69,200 cases of commercial bribery, involving 16.59 billion yuan in total, were investigated from 2005 to 2009.

In 2009, some 7,036 officials were held responsible for acts like making serious mistakes in decision making, breach of duty, and failing to manage and supervise subordinates, the white paper says.

The white paper quotes a National Bureau of Statistics survey as saying that 83.8 percent of Chinese thought corruption was reduced to some extent in 2010, up from 68.1 percent in 2003.

But the white paper warns that the task of curbing corruption remains tough.

China has undergone dramatic economic and social changes, and the ideas and concepts of the people have evolved, leading to increased social conflicts, it says.

The white paper also proposes to further strengthen international exchanges and cooperation to combat corruption.

What's in the White Paper

I. Unswervingly pushing forward the undertaking of combating corruption and building a clean government

II. Leadership system and working mechanism for combating corruption and building a clean government

III. Legal framework for combating corruption and building a clean government

IV. Power restraint and supervisory system

V. Prevention of corruption through system reform and institutional innovation

VI. Handling cases of corruption in accordance with law and discipline

VII. Education in clean government and construction of the culture of integrity

VIII. International exchanges and cooperation in combating corruption

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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