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Supervision shields officials from graft

(Global Times)

08:47, September 25, 2012

The Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court in Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday sentenced Wang Lijun, the former vice mayor and police chief of Chongqing, to 15 years in prison, which is generally what the public expected. Wang stated that he would not appeal the sentence.

A few days ago, he said at the court, "For the party organization, people and relatives that have cared for me, I want to say here, sincerely: I'm very, very sorry, I've let you down."

Yang Dacai, a work safety official from Shaanxi Province who was caught smiling at a fatal crash scene and later found to possess several luxury watches, may share the same feeling as Wang Lijun.

Yang has violated Party discipline. If they could turn back time, they would probably fulfill their duties and draw admiration from the public.

Supervision authorities are responsible for society, but more importantly, they are responsible for officials' future. There have been talented and diligent officials who were dismissed for violation of discipline because they gave in to temptation.

China has established a set of mechanisms for supervision of power. It has been strengthened through practice. No one would feel comfortable under supervision, but to give a strong hand to the supervisors is to protect those being supervised.

Some people think they are aware their behavior is restrained by disciplinary measures and don't need supervision. Such confidence is blind.

We can't rely on such a sense of awareness by people with great power. Once supervision is lacking, it's natural that power will be abused.

Strengthening supervision is the irreversible trend of China's establishment of the rule of law. It will benefit the country, the public as well as officials. Now we need the determination to continue this process, which nobody would oppose.

Didn't people around Yang Dacai know that he likes collecting luxury watches? Didn't the officials see the signs of disciplinary violations before being investigated? Why didn't they give a serious warning in the early stages? That Yang would appear at different occasions with his luxury watches means that he didn't take violations of discipline seriously.

The time when officials could go unpunished for corruption is long gone. Once an official is accused or questioned on the Internet, an investigation will be carried out and a severe punishment will ensue once a violation is proved.

Campaigns against corruption and violation of discipline cannot be carried out solely through supervision. China's social reality is not mature enough to meet the requirement of zero corruption. But strengthening supervision is the most feasible way to balance corrupt behavior.

Online supervision only requires punishment of corruption, while supervision from within officialdom can diminish the possibility for violation of discipline and promote clean governance.

Stamping out officials' corrupt behavior and violation of discipline is one of the urgent tasks of political reform.

To strengthen the supervision of power is vital for our national development and a cure for official corruption.

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