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China's fight against graft faces challenges

Publication Date : 25-02-2014

 

More corrupt officials may flee abroad, while others could take extra precautions to try to disguise their wrongdoings following enhanced measures to tackle graft, anti-corruption specialists warned on Monday.

Corrupt officials will also use more third parties, like family members or close friends, to take bribes on their behalf, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The academy issued a comprehensive report on Monday on the fight against corruption, urging stricter monitoring of what it termed "naked officials" - those whose spouses and children have migrated.

The government has never released the number of "naked officials", while the number of fugitive officials is also not known publicly.

More corrupt officials might decide to flee due to the success in cracking down on corruption after the Party leadership was elected in November 2012, the government think tank said in the report, the Blue Book on the Rule of Law.

The report also stressed the importance of more oversight on the promotion of officials to prevent corruption "cliques".

"Money politics, nepotism and promoting officials who served at secretarial level should be avoided in the process of personnel selection," the report said.

Several senior officials who used to serve as secretaries have recently faced corruption allegations.

Ji Wenlin, a vice-governor of Hainan province who used to be a senior official's secretary, was investigated by the country's top anti-graft agency on February 18.

Age may also be a factor, the report said.

Of the 123 officials who faced allegations of corruption last year from the Communist Party of China Central Commission of Discipline Inspection, 66 were aged between 51 and 60, the report said.

It also said that 70 of the 123 officials were at department level and 27 at ministerial level.

About 60 per cent of the officials were from Party committees and government bodies, and about 24 per cent were from public institutes and state-owned enterprises.

Accepting bribes was the most common form of corruption, accounting for 63.9 per cent of the cases. Corruption linked to abuse of power was second, with just under 10 per cent.

The report said the clean-governance campaign will continue this year, and disclosing officials' private assets will form a major part of it.

Zhou Shuzhen, a professor at Renmin University of China specialising in the fight against graft, said a large number of officials are likely to be investigated this year.

The commission sent two inspection teams to 20 government bodies, State-owned enterprises and public institutions last year.

At least six ministerial-level officials, including Guo Youming, vice-governor of Hubei province, and Liao Shaohua, Party secretary of Zunyi, a city in Guizhou province, were questioned by the inspection teams and are facing corruption charges.

A total of 30,420 officials were punished last year for violating Party rules aimed at avoiding pomp and ceremony and identifying more with the public's concerns, the commission said in January.

 

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