China orders monitoring of graft at official celebrations

08:41, July 07, 2010      

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China on Tuesday ordered the thorough checking on activities held by Communist Party and government groups in a bid to eliminate corruption and avoid extravagance.

"A soaring number of celebrations, seminars and forums have been held by Party and government organizations, which cost plenty of money and manpower and exacerbate corrupt behaviors. It has done severe damages to the image of the Party and the government," said a Tuesday circular.

The document was jointly released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Ministry of Supervision, the Ministry of Finance and the State Council Office For Rectifying Malpractices.

Besides seminars and forums, this latest inspection will also focus on anniversary pageants for cities, counties and schools, memorial ceremonies for public figures and events and celebrations such as tourist attractions.

The number, cost and scale of activities should be under control, the circular said.

Official celebrations that seek financial support from local enterprises and people are not permitted, according to the circular.

In addition, local governments are forbidden to misuse bonuses in the name of celebrations or spend money on "vanity projects," a term used to describe those built largely for displaying local governments' achievements, rather than for use by ordinary people.

The campaign will run from July through November.

Also on Tuesday, the CPC's leading group for fighting commercial bribery held a meeting in Shenzhen, a city in southern Guangdong Province, to exchange experiences in the fight against commercial bribery.

According to a statement released after the meeting, more research and analysis will be carried out regarding the characteristics and methods of varied forms of commercial bribery.

Guangdong's provincial authorities have said that 83 officials at the county head level or above were penalized in the first ten months of 2009, with 18 receiving jail terms.

Further, the province cracked 405 commercial bribery cases involving 200 million yuan (29.2 million U.S. dollars) during the same period.



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