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UPDATED: January 17, 2011 NO. 3 JANUARY 20, 2011
A Long-Way Campaign
China is sparing no efforts to combat corruption under a tough situation

PUBLIC EDUCATION: A visitor looks at the posters at an anti-corruption exhibition in Yidu, central China's Hubei Province, on October 15, 2009 (CAO LIDA)

Zhang Jingli, former Deputy Director of the State Food and Drug Administration, was dismissed from public employment and expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for serious violations of discipline and law, the discipline watchdog of the CPC said on January 6.

According to a statement released by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC and the Ministry of Supervision, Zhang abused his office to benefit others and received a large amount of money in return.

Investigations also found Zhang gained huge profits from illegal business operations, fabricated facts to frame others and led a corrupt life.

Zhang's alleged law-breaking deeds will be investigated and handled by judicial organs, the statement says.

In 2010, more than 140,000 officials were punished as China intensified efforts to curb corruption.

On January 9-11, the 17th CCDI of the CPC made an overall arrangement for the Party's anti-corruption work in 2011 at its sixth plenary session, stressing to address problems the public complains about most.

When speaking at the meeting, President Hu Jintao, also General Secretary of the Party, said the CPC and the government will wage the fight against corruption with greater determination and more forceful measures as the situation remains serious.

Last December, China released its first white paper on anti-graft efforts, expressing its resolve to strengthen the fight against corruption.

Li Chengyan, a professor at the School of Government of Peking University, said it shows China is demonstrating its political situation to the world with a more open attitude.

Legal efforts

China has been investigating and dealing with cases of corruption, maintaining stern momentum in checking corruption, says the white paper, titled China's Efforts to Combat Corruption and Build a Clean Government. It was issued by the Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet.

After five years of efforts, the basic framework of China's corruption punishment and prevention system has taken shape, said He Zengke, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Marxism at the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, a prominent research institute on Marxism and Chinese policies.

The white paper says the major functional agencies in China for combating corruption and building a clean government are the Party's commissions for discipline inspection, judicial organs of the state, supervisory and auditing departments of the government, and the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention.

The above organizations with different functions are independent in performing their duties and, at the same time, coordinate and collaborate with one another.

Meanwhile, China has gradually established an effective legal framework for combating corruption with rigorous procedures and well-matched regulations, the white paper says.

To ensure the proper exercise of public power, China has enacted a series of laws and regulations, such as the Law on Administrative Supervision, the Audit Law, the Administrative Reconsideration Law, and the Administrative Procedure Law, to strengthen restraint and supervision over the exercise of power by officials.

China has also revised the Criminal Law, which provides an important legal basis for punishing crimes of corruption, according to the white paper.

Last year, China issued a series of tough measures, such as expanding the scale of auditing officials right up to the ministerial level, and regulations that ban public funds being used for tours and sightseeing trips overseas.

In January of 2010, the CPC issued a conduct code, clearly prohibiting Party officials from profit-making activities and seeking illegitimate gains by taking advantage of their positions in violation of established rules.

Last July, China issued two new tough anti-corruption regulations for Party and government officials whose spouses or children emigrate overseas.

The regulations require officials to report changes in their marital status, personal incomes, the business dealings of spouses and children, and other family details.

"It is a precaution mechanism to prevent corrupt officials from running away," said Lin Zhe, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.

"Tougher regulations can help the country dig out more corrupt officials who were less likely to be found before," Lin said.

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