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Tougher measures on corruption studied

(China Daily)

07:39, January 24, 2013

China's top anti-graft body is researching measures to crack down on corruption and improve supervision of high-level officials, a senior disciplinary official said.

Zhao Hongzhu, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the nation's top discipline watchdog, said Party chief Xi Jinping has called on his office to put forward more effective measures to prevent officials from abusing their power.

"He said we should take measures to make officials turn their backs on privilege and displays of ostentation. The disciplinary commission is researching such measures," Zhao said at a commission meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Although anti-corruption authorities have made extensive efforts, supervision of top officials is still not effective enough, he said.

Xi vowed strict supervision in a speech on Tuesday, saying authorities must tackle graft by "flies and tigers", meaning low- and high-level officials.

The Party chief has made public remarks on anti-corruption six times since becoming general secretary of the CPC Central Committee two months ago.

Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said on Monday that officials should report assets to anti-graft agencies and the authorities will conduct spot-checks to ensure the authenticity of asset declarations.

The officials' asset declaration system, established in 1995, requires officials at county-level and above to report assets to the Party. However, many corrupt officials only report a small number of their assets to escape investigation, said Ren Jianming, director of Beihang University's Clean Governance Research and Education Center.

"The current system is not comprehensive because there are no verification measures to check the authenticity of the declaration nor harsh punishment for those who cheat the declaration process," he said.

Ren said anti-graft authorities have asked for suggestions from some experts, including himself, to help with the next five-year plan.

The power of top Party officials should be diluted and supervision authorities should be granted more power, Ren said.

"Under the regulations, the Party chiefs have overwhelming power, making it impossible for disciplinary officials to supervise," Ren said.

Zhou Shuzhen, a politics professor at Renmin University of China, said anti-graft authorities should listen more to public opinion.

"More corruption cases have been exposed through micro blogs recently, and the Internet proves to be an effective medium allowing people to supervise officials," she said.

Many officials, including some in senior positions, have recently been investigated and dismissed for corruption.

Yi Junqing, director of the Party's Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, was removed from post for "improper lifestyle", Xinhua News Agency reported on Jan 17.


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