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Print Edition> Nation
UPDATED: October 29, 2007 NO.44 NOV.1, 2007
Anti-Corruption Campaign
The Communist Party of China has made progress in combating corruption, with the number of members violating Party discipline and laws decreasing steadily every year

Since the 16th National Party Congress in 2002, discipline watchdogs at all levels have brought down a handful of high-ranking officials who had severely violated Party discipline during the anti-graft campaigns, including abuse of power, corruption, commercial bribery, and dereliction of duty. Some cases involved abuse of power for personal gain, such as power of appointing and promoting civil servants, of examining and approving investments or projects and of administration and executing the law. Others involved false bids for government investment projects, illegal approval of expropriations and occupation of land for personal gain, and illegal granting of mineral exploration and mining rights. A number of high-ranking officials have been punished in the past five years, including former minister of land and resources Tian Fengshan, Shanghai's former Party chief Chen Liangyu, former head of State Food and Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu, and former deputy governor of Anhui Province Wang Huaizhong. Of these, Wang Huaizhong and Zheng Xiaoyu were sentenced to death.

"The Party has strengthened its efforts to combat corruption and promote clean and honest administration in the past five years, and effectively checked cases of corruption," said Li Dongsheng, spokesman for the 17th National Party Congress.

The CPC has curbed the spread of corruption among Party officials, and the number of violations of Party discipline and the state law has decreased steadily. According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC (CCDI), discipline watchdogs imposed punishment on more than 170,000 Party members in 2003, more than 110,000 in 2005 and 90,000 in 2006, who violated Party discipline or regulations.

Combating and preventing corruption is one major goal of the CPC, and a swath of important laws and regulations have been introduced and improved in the past five years.

According to available statistics, the CCDI and the Ministry of Supervision have worked out or made amendments to more than 160 laws, rules, regulations and provisional measures. These intra-Party regulations, stipulations and laws have filled vacancies, laid down concrete foundations and opened much more room for providing legal support to the anti-corruption endeavors and to advancing clean and honest administration.

The CPC has made two major achievements in the anti-corruption campaign in the past five years: the establishment of an inspection tour system and the improvement of system for receiving public complaints and reporting.

Initiated in 1996, the inspection tour system was officially established in August 2003 to further strengthen and improve intra-Party supervisory mechanisms and bring into full force the supervisory function exercised by the CCDI over leading bodies and their members at provincial (ministerial) level. In 2000, the CPC Central Committee decided to establish an office in charge of the inspection tour work jointly run by the CCDI and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee so as to send inspection tour groups to supervise and examine the work done by provincial and central Party and government leading bodies and especially done by their main responsible members. Inspectors for the tours were picked from former ministers or vice ministers.

During the tours, inspection groups at various levels have learned and grasped what they want to find out mainly by attending meetings as non-voting delegates, convening symposiums, conducting conversations with individuals, looking up documents and materials, accepting letters and visits from the citizens and conducting questionnaire-surveys. The CCDI's general office is responsible for making comprehensive coordination, ensuring personnel management, logistics-guarantees, and keeping in touch with and giving guidance to provincial, regional and municipal inspection tour working organs.

These inspectors have dug out important clues to cases that involve cadres above the county level violating laws or discipline, including the cases of Chen Liangyu, Hou Wujie, Xu Guojian, Ji Baojin, Du Shicheng and He Minxu, said Gan Yisheng, spokesman for the CCDI, the central disciplinary watchdog.

So far, inspection teams sent out by CCDI and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee have completed their first round of inspection tours to 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and are now in the middle of their second round of tours to 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Gan said.

They have also completed inspections of nine commercial banks, four state-owned assets management companies, four state-owned insurance companies, two state-owned securities companies and five major state-owned enterprises, he said.

All provincial Party committees have sent their own inspection groups, which have completed the first round of inspection tours to cities and prefectures under their jurisdiction, covering 293 provincial departments, 1,218 counties, cities and districts, and 59 state-owned enterprises, he added.

The system for public receiving complaints and reporting is a major channel for the discipline watchdogs to gain information and clues for many cases. From early 2003 to the end of June this year, discipline watchdogs at all levels handled 6.45 million complaints through letters, calls and visits or via the Internet.

The Party's central and local discipline watchdogs are expanding and smoothing out the channels for the public to complain and report on illegal conduct and allow the public to visit and report to officials of key posts. A majority of the watchdogs nationwide have carried out investigations after listening to these complaints and have made it regular and standardized practice. The CCDI and 15 provincial watchdogs have successively launched websites for public complaints. Other channels include a short message service and free postal mail.

According to a report by Xinhua News Agency, the public reported 46.2 percent of the cases China's discipline watchdogs investigated last year through the system.

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