China backs worldwide fight against corruption

08:27, July 05, 2011      

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China will boost efforts to fight cross-border corruption by enhancing information exchanges for extraditions, repatriations and the recovery of illegal funds, a senior Party official pledged on Monday.

Speaking at the third meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), Zhou Yongkang, secretary of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, said transnational corruption is now a global problem and should be a top priority.

"We need to strengthen our work with other countries and regions on repatriation of suspects, asset recovery and information exchanges to eliminate 'safe havens' of corruption, and increase cooperation in punishing and preventing corruption," he said at the gathering in Shanghai.

The international community, he urged, should cooperate "in a spirit of mutual respect, mutual benefit and seek common ground, while putting aside differences".

He said countries should fully understand and respect each other's anti-corruption measures taken in accordance with national situations, and refrain from harming partners' sovereignty and security or applying double standards.

Zhou acknowledged, however, that the relevant laws, policies and mechanisms are incomplete in China, adding: "The soil for breeding corruption still exists, with some sectors particularly prone to corruption."

Official data shows the authorities investigated 32,909 cases related to abuses of power in 2010, involving 44,085 people. Disciplinary inspection agencies also took disciplinary or administrative action against 146,517 Party members and officials.

The CPC and Chinese government will continue to build a socialist country under the rule of law, said Zhou, as well as place great importance on fighting corruption and advancing the mechanisms to punish offenders.

Since its inception in Beijing in October 2006, the IAACA has worked to promote the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, leading to closer international cooperation. It now has more than 80 members.

China has signed 106 legal assistance treaties with 68 countries and regions, while the ministries of public security and supervision have engaged in exchanges with disciplinary and law enforcement authorities in dozens of countries and regions.

"Now, more than ever, it's necessary to join forces to face common challenges, to constantly adapt to the sophisticated nature of corruption and the inherent difficulty of finding the most appropriate ways to fight it," said Dimitri Vlassis, head of corruption and economic crime for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's treaty affairs division.

"We must learn from each other's experiences," he added.

Source: China Daily
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