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Thursday, March 09, 2000, updated at 09:31(GMT+8)


People's Daily Commentary on Hu Changqing Case

People's Daily hails the execution of a corrupt high-ranking official March 8, saying that in socialist China no one is above the law.

In a commentary published Thursday, the paper says that the handling of the case of Hu Changqing has shown that the CPC leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core is administering the Party strictly, managing state affairs according to law, and undeviating in its anti-corruption struggle.

Hu Changqing, a former deputy governor of Jiangxi Province in east China, was executed earlier today after China's Supreme People's Court ordered the Intermediate People's Court of Nanchang City in Jiangxi Province to carry out the death sentence handed down by the local court on February 15.

Hu was sentenced to death by the local court at the first trial on charges of accepting 5.44 million yuan (655,000 U.S. dollars) worth of bribes, possessing 1.61 million yuan (193,000 U. S. dollars) worth of property from unidentified sources, and giving 80,000 yuan (9,638 U.S. dollars) in bribes to others to further his career.

The commentary by the paper, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China (CPC), describes Hu Changqing as "the highest- ranking official executed since New China was founded" in 1949, adding that the case is an extremely serious one involving economic crimes and has had a very bad influence on Chinese society.

"For such a flagrant criminal, only the death penalty is sufficient to safeguard national law, satisfy popular indignation, rectify the Party work style, and fight against corruption," the commentary says.

It urges members and cadres of the Communist Party of China, especially medium- and high-ranking officials, to draw lessons from the case of Hu Changqing, and not be attracted by all sorts of temptations during reform and opening to the outside world and the creation of a market economy.

The commentary says that the case of Hu Changqing once again reminds the people of the fact that not only should leading Party officials have self-discipline, but the supervision mechanism should be improved.

"Judging from major cases involving leading party members, one of the main reasons the abuse of power to gain money by some important Party members became possible is that the supervision and management mechanism over leading Party members is far from perfect," the paper says.

"In this respect, the existing regulations must be carried out firmly, and those which have room for improvement should be improved, while necessary systems should be set up as soon as possible."

The commentary goes on to say that "the severe punishment of Hu Changqing according to law serves as a caution to the Party's leading members, a warning to those who have sill failed to correct their wrongdoing, and an encouragement to the general public."

"It tells us that, in socialist China, there is no special citizen in the eyes of the law and no special Party member in the eyes of Party discipline, and no one can escape the punishment of the law if he has broken the law, no matter how high his position or how powerful he is," the commentary concludes.

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