State Councilor Calls for Continued Crackdown on Smuggling

State Councilor Wu Yi Saturday urged customs departments across China to continue its anti-smuggling campaign, crack down on swindling of tax rebates for exports, clamp down evasion and arbitrage of hard currencies, and safeguard the order of imports and exports.

She also called for efforts to better prepare China for its expected accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The state councilor made the call at a national meeting attended by heads of the customs, which opened Saturday.

Chinese customs managed to contain large-scale smuggling last year, despite the fact that 1,816 major smuggling cases were uncovered, up 34.4 percent over 1999.

The value of goods involved totaled 9.12 billion yuan, an increase of 4.9 percent over the previous year.

Qian Guanlin, director of the General Administration of Customs, told the meeting that customs departments hit hard on smuggling, and mandatory measures were adopted for 4,458 smuggling suspects, of whom 2,257 were arrested, and 2,608 were transferred to procuratorial departments.

The customs turned in 2.46 billion yuan in revenue to the State treasury last year from confiscation and fines, said Qian, adding the customs authorities handled 11,421 minor smuggling cases, down 16.6 percent year-on-year.

The total amount of taxes collected by the customs departments totaled 224.19 billion yuan in 2000, a record high and a 40.9 percent increase over 1999, when the total amount of taxes exceeded the 100 billion yuan for the first time in history.

China has launched decisive crackdowns on smuggling during the past two years, including the Yuanhua smuggling case in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen.

People's Daily Online ---