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China to ban extralegal administration with power list

Updated: 2014-10-28 19:17

BEIJING - China will set a power list for government and ban administrative authorities from any extralegal power, said a key policy document of the Communist Party of China (CPC) published on Tuesday.

The work to build a law-abiding government should be promoted with the establishment, function, power, procedure and liabilities clearly mandated in law and strictly practiced in line with law, said Xi Jinping, CPC Central Committee General Secretary.

The new policy hopes to curb problems in administration and law enforcement such as failure to strictly observing or enforcing the law, pressing law with powers, bending law for personal gains and power-for-money trades, Xi said.

Such problems have incurred deep resentment among the public and must be uprooted, Xi said.

According to the CPC Central Committee's decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law, which was passed at last week's fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, a government power list system will be introduced to squeeze out the room for power rent-seeking.

No government authority is allowed to set extralegal power. Without legal authorization they cannot make any decision that will undermine the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, corporations or other organizations, the CPC decision said.

They cannot create any additional obligations for citizens or others without due authorization.

A system to put major decisions within the government under check and review will be established and governmental authorities will also have legal counsels to ensure their major decisions and administrative work are in line with the law.

The governments' internal power should not be left unchecked either, according to the decision. It pledged separation of powers regarding excessively centralized departments and fiscal fund allocation, state-owned assets management, government investment and purchase, public resources transfer and public constructions, Xi said, citing the document.

The document also pledged independent audit over power use and enhanced transparency of administrative affairs.

The vitality of law lies in its implementation, and the authority of law is also established during the implementation, Xi said.

"No matter how many laws we have, if they are simply left on the shelf, they mean nothing," he added. "Once a law is established, any violation must be handled. Once an order is issued, it should be prudently practiced without caprice."

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