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China Daily Website

New anti-graft head promises more supervision

Updated: 2012-12-03 01:05
By An Baijie ( China Daily)

The chief of the ruling Party's top discipline watchdog has vowed to strengthen supervision of officials.

"Trust can never replace supervision," said Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.

He made the pledge while leading a seminar in which scholars gave their suggestions on how to fight corruption.

Wang is one of the seven newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Eight experts in anti-corruption research from universities and government agencies were invited to give their opinions at the seminar, which was held in Beijing on Friday.

During the seminar, the experts said that publicizing officials' assets is an effective measure to prevent corruption, and should be done as soon as possible.

Ma Huaide, vice-president of China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, was at the seminar. He said that publicizing officials' assets should be a compulsory requirement enforced by the law.

"There is an urgent need to have legislation on the publication of information, requiring officials' assets to be reported to anti-corruption agencies and made public," he said.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University who also attended the seminar, said that even though publicizing officials' assets has been implemented as a pilot project in some places, many officials reported only a small portion of their assets, having hidden part of their wealth.

"We must firstly deal with such problems in the pilot project before making relevant legislation," he said.

Jiang said Wang listened attentively to the scholars' suggestion to publicize officials' assets, and agreed with them that any moves in this direction should be carried out "step by step", as the situation is complex.

"He (Wang) said that he took part in the legislation of inheritance tax, and he found that it was difficult to turn the tax into practical law immediately because there are lots of complex issues," Jiang told China Daily on Sunday.

"He said that publicizing officials' assets is also a complex issue which needs thorough research before being turned into law."

An online investigation initiated by China Youth Daily last week showed that 76.6 percent of people expect anti-corruption work to be strengthened in the next decade.

More than 62.8 percent of people agreed that publicizing officials' assets is an effective means to prevent corruption, according to the survey, which polled more than 10,200 netizens, including workers at private and State-owned enterprises, university students and officials.

Anti-corruption efforts have recently been strengthened, and many officials dismissed from their posts.

Five senior officials in South China's Guangdong province have been investigated by the province's anti-corruption authority since late October.

Last month, Lei Zhengfu, Party chief of a district in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, was removed from his post after a sex video that he was in was exposed and widely circulated on the Internet.

Only 63 hours separated the exposure of Lei's video to his removal.

"In the past, it often took several months to investigate and punish corrupt officials, but the speed is obviously faster than ever before," said Jiang.

New conference mode

Jiang said he was impressed by how Wang ran Friday's seminar, asking the scholars to drop their written drafts and talk about whatever they wanted.

"Wang said that he had read all of our written drafts and he did not need to hear them again, so everyone can get directly to the point," Jiang said on Sunday.

The seminar is more like a casual chat than a formal conference, and most of the scholars were relaxed when each of them made a 10-minute speech, Jiang said.

Wang wore a gray-colored suit and a light-blue shirt without a tie, which made Jiang feel at ease.

"I spoke for more than 10 minutes because I was so eager to express myself during the free-speaking seminar," he said.

There were no cliches, no slogans and no taboo topics at the seminar, he added.

Zhou Shuzhen, a politics professor with Renmin University of China in Beijing, who also attended the seminar, said when a scholar started a speech by talking about "distinguished secretary Wang", the scholar was stopped by Wang and told not to be so polite, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency.

During the seminar, Wang said: "It's not permitted to read your draft word-for-word during my conference. All of you should learn to think deeply," the report said, citing Zhou.

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