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Harsh justice recommended for bribe givers (2)

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:08, September 05, 2012

In 2007, Hu Xing received a life sentence for accepting bribes worth 40 million yuan ($6.3 million) while he was deputy director of Yunnan province’s transport department. However, no details were ever revealed about whether the businessman from Guangdong province who paid him the bulk of the bribes — 32 million yuan — was punished.

"Tolerance of those who offer bribes provides fertile ground for corruption, while light punishments will only allow more people to believe that the crime will not be taken seriously by the courts," Ren added.

Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, agreed, adding that the existing penalties are not a deterrent for those offering large bribes.

"If people continue to be able to buy an official position or construction project with money, it will have a very negative effect on China’s legal environment," Zhu said.

He added that bribery in Western countries is a felony, and those providing the bribes face fines and heavy prison sentences.

Zhou Liwen, a prosecutor in Changsha, Hunan province, said he heard of a case in Australia in which a mother gave an expensive gift to a teacher, hoping to get her child into the school. However, she was unsuccessful.

"The teacher was very angry and said the school no longer welcomed her," Zhou said.

Each resident should enhance his or her awareness and help authorities curb such corrupt behavior, Zhou added.

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