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Analysts praise intra-party inspections' refocusing on corruption


19:34, May 21, 2013

BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Political analysts have highlighted that the upcoming routine visits by inspection teams to oversee local officials will this year focus on uncovering corruption, a key narrowing of their remit.

Wang Qishan, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, gave the instruction at a Friday conference held to mobilize and train the inspectors, who will soon be dispatched to check up on senior officials with provincial authorities and major government-run entities.

Saying the Party's anti-graft work faces an "extremely critical and complicated" situation, Wang demanded inspection teams play their role as "informants" for central authorities by spotting and reporting disciplinary violations and illegalities.

The CPC began routinely sending out the teams to oversee performance in 2003, formally writing the practice into the Party's Constitution five years later.

However, it has been interpreted as noteworthy that this year's inspections will center specifically around the anti-corruption fight, demonstrating the Party's determination to curb graft.

Liu Changmin, a professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, noted that gauging officials' cleanness and honesty was one of the teams' prescribed duties but only part of a broader job focus.

"To my knowledge, the corruption fight has never been emphasized so much in the Party's previous inspection teams' work," she said.

Wang said on Friday that inspectors should focus on detecting malpractice such as trading power for money, abusing power for personal interests, bribery and work styles including formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

They should also look for breaches of Party political disciplines and corruption related to officials' selection and promotion, he urged.

Li Chengyan, head of the Research Center for Clean Government Construction at Peking University, said, "Undoubtedly, by putting the corruption fight as a top priority for inspection teams this year, the Party wants to win more public support and increase local authorities' credibility."

Li termed the shift in focus among the CPC's new efforts to tackle corruption, a drive that CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping has said concerns the Party and country's survival or extinction.

Speaking during a group study of the Political Bureau members of the CPC Central Committee on April 20, Xi reaffirmed that the Party must crack down on both "tigers" and "flys."

China's high-profile fight against corruption since the new leadership took office late last year has brought down a number of officials involved in corruption and graft scandals.

The latest cases include a vice president of a state-run bank and a senior official at the country's top planning agency, whose sackings were announced separately during the past seven days.

The fact that China's intra-party inspectors will focus on digging out corrupt officials has been widely hailed online as a positive move, though some netizens expressed skepticism about the results.

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