CPC to ram up anti-graft fight as it turns 90

08:27, June 23, 2011      

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As the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) prepares for its 90th anniversary celebrations, it has vowed to step up efforts to ensure its officials live up to the standards established by the Party's founding fathers in 1921.

China's Party disciplinary watchdog said Wednesday that it plans more inspections and supervision of officials in the battle against corruption. Embezzlement of public funds and officials trading power for money are among the most resented by the people in China.

The ruling Party will monitor the use of public vehicles and supervise officials' financial assets to curb and combat illegal financial activities, Wu Yuliang, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of CPC Central Committee, told a news conference in Beijing.

"Widespread corruption is standing in the way of future economic development," Wu said.
However, the official conceded that the Party has "no timetable to implement the much-anticipated asset declaration system for officials due to some technical reasons", the Beijing-based China Daily reported on its front page Thursday.

Wu said that two mechanisms were vital for the self-declaration system to be introduced. One would cover "social credit", information such as loan and credit history, and the other involves revelation of personal information.

"Both (systems) needed to be up and running before officials were required to disclose private assets to the public," the China Daily quoted the official as saying. Wu added that it will be difficult to implement the system in China without the two mechanisms.

The official said the general public will not trust accounts provided by officials if they don't have access to relevant statistics.

Wu emphasized that asset declaration was a common practice of anti-graft measures in many countries and had been proved to be effective. "We are confident about setting up such a system," he said.

According to the CPC Central Committee's anti-corruption guidelines for 2008-2012, the Party will accelerate research and evaluation to set up the asset declaration system.

Last year, nearly 140,000 corruption cases were filed and more than 146,000 people were given disciplinary punishments, he said.

Under a regulation that took effect last July, some 1.67 million officials in government agencies and state-owned companies have reported their personal details.

Of the total, more than 850,000 detailed their property ownership, 606,000 their personal investments and more than 805,270 the employment status of their spouses and children.

Wu said a more detailed assets declaration system remained under discussion, as the government found it hard to verify claims by officials.

Wu also responded to a recent report by China's central bank which said that up to 18,000 Chinese officials and state-owned enterprise executives had fled abroad or gone missing, squirreling away nearly 800 billion yuan (US$123 billion) since the middle of the 1990s, with North America their favored destinations.

Wu said the figure was incorrect, though he didn't give an alternative.

However, he noted that China was strengthening international cooperation in law enforcement to catch and prevent corrupt officials from fleeing abroad as a growing trend had been noticed where corrupt officials tended to transfer ill-gained assets to relatives and mistresses overseas in order to escape detection.

Wu said China was monitoring the overseas assets of officials and their movements to prevent corruption.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of corrupt officials fleeing overseas," Wu said. "We have conducted many campaigns to catch those officials and return their money."

Meanwhile, measures have been taken to prevent officials trading on their current status to enter the private sector.

A regulation issued last year stipulates that officials are not allowed to accept jobs in private enterprises for three years after they leave office or retire or engage in any for-profit business related to their previous posts.

People's Daily Online / Shanghai Daily
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