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The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference

The Papers

Strengthening Construction of a Clean and Honest Government and Pushing Ahead with Anti-Corruption Struggle into the New Century

Mr. Chen Chang-zhi
Vice-Minister of Supervision of the People's Republic of China

First of all, on behalf of the Ministry of Supervision of the People's Republic of China and in my own name, please allow me to extend our warmest congratulations on the opening of the 9th International Anti- Corruption Conference.

Corruption is the public enemy of a civilised society, fighting against corruption is always a common subject of the whole world in the course of seeking stability and development. This conference of anti-corruption, the last one of this century, is of far-reaching significance as we are entering a new millennium. I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on how Chinese supervisory organs resolutely fight against corruption to build-up a clean and honest government.

1. Conducting anti-corruption activities based on China's own situation

China is a civilised country with a long history of more than 5,000 years and a developing country as well with a weak infrastructure and a large population, and will be in the primary period of socialism for a long time. At this stage, our chief task is to develop the economy. To guarantee a sustained, healthy development of the national economy, there must be a stable social and political environment. Resolutely fighting against corruption is one of the pre-conditions for maintaining such an environment.

On specific arrangements to fight against corruption, we have framed the following three patterns:

  • Making great efforts on the integrity and self-discipline of leading departments and leading officials

    The Chinese government always emphasises that leading officials at all levels, especially high ranking leading officials, should make a good example on honesty and self-discipline. Since 1993, We have early or later brought forward 14 rules to leaders above county and division level, such as "bar from running business and enterprise", "bar from trading stock shares" and "bar from participating in expensive consumption with public funds". They are requested to check themselves and correct the wrong doings. In March of 1997, we promulgated "The Code of Ethics for Leading Officials in Performing Public Duty". All these regulations, not only effectively restrict efficiently the conducts leading officials, but also provide the basis for the public and supervisory organs to check on them.

  • Investigating cases of corruption and violation of law and regulations and punishing corrupted officials

    Supervisory organisations at all levels have in accordance with the law investigated and handled cases of embezzlement, graft and dereliction of duties involving administrative organs and their employees. Especially in recent years, focusing on the leading organs of administrative law enforcement and economic management and senior officials, we have intensified efforts to investigate cases in the field of finance, securities, real estate, land-leasing and construction projects. These efforts have strongly upheld the seriousness of the administrative disciplines as well as the dignity of the state laws.

  • Redressing malpractices in various trades and departments

    Malpractices in various trades and departments refer to those practices by some government departments, which hinder the impartial enforcement of public powers and infringe upon the interests of the public for personal gains. Supervisory departments at all levels have made it an important task to redress malpractices in various trades and departments. Efforts have been made to clean up various arbitrary charges and fines on highways; to lesson the burdens of farmers and enterprises; and to clean up extra-budget funds by making specific inspections nation-wide. At the same time, activities such as democratically evaluating trade practices, publishing administrative procedures, building civilised trades and the system of service commitment to the society have been actively initiated, thus an honest and just government image established.

    In addition, the supervisory organisation at all levels also make efforts to prevent and root out corruption.

    In order to keep the integrity and justice of government organisations and their officials, our government decided that all state administrative organs must unhook the connection with the enterprises administered by them. With the efforts by supervisory organisations at all levels and concerned departments, this task is proceeding smoothly and approaching to the set objective.

    Making administrative charges, fines and confiscation funds being managed by "separating revenue from expenditure" is another important measure by our government to prevent and cure corruption from the root. All administrative charges, fines and confiscation collected by government organisations must be paid into national treasury in full amount and timely. No body or individual can divert or hold back the fund.

    For the sake of regulating construction market and eliminating under table deal, "The Act on Construction of the People's Republic of China" was issued in March 1998. Taking the advantage of implementing this Act, the Ministry of Supervision put forward the project of enhancing administration on construction market and setting up tangible construction market, establishing an open, fair and competitive bidding system in project contracting. All project contracts must be operated according to legal process. No body or individual is allowed to interfere or interpose the normal process of contacting by using administrative advantage or influence.

2. Guidelines and basic policies and strategies for Anti-Corruption struggle in the crossing of centuries

The Chinese government and supervisory organs through practice have formed clear and effective policies and strategies, for ethic construction and anti-corruption, and thereby established our basic guidelines and strategies for anti-corruption in the crossing of centuries.

The general guideline is that anti-corruption campaign must centre around the economic development and serve the overall work of reform, development and stability. It must be combined with practice of reforming the economic system. We will make all-around arrangements but laying out the key points, taking all anti-corruption measures to guarantee our country achieving the goal of crossing century economic development, the 9th five-year plan and a long-range perspective plan in the year of 2010.

The objective of anti-corruption in the crossing of the centuries.

Currently China is at the stage of transforming the socialist planed economy to socialist market economy. The patterns of all kinds of interests are being adjusted. This objectively provides the condition of engendering corruption. There is still the space for corruption to emerge and develop. So for a certain long period, the anti-corruption situation is still very grim. This reflects that anti-corruption struggle is complicated, arduous and time taking and anti-corruption objective should be active, realistic and feasible. So we should work out a reasonable objective of anti-corruption for the period of crossing of the centuries according to the current situation. Firstly, to control the spreading of corruption among civil servants by the year of 2002 and secondly enhance our efforts to make our anti- corruption struggle achieving better results.

The basic policies and strategies needed for achieving our anti- corruption objectives during the crossing of the centuries are:

Firstly anti-corruption struggle must be undertaken in accordance with domestic and international situation, deal properly with the relationship between partial situation and over all situation. We should resolutely fight against corruption and at the same time keep the society stable.

Secondly anti-corruption struggle must be closely linked with reform and economic construction and serve the core task. We should implement the principle of "grasping two links at the same time" (meaning economic construction and anti-corruption struggle), deal properly with the relationship between anti-corruption struggle and economic construction, explore the problems happened or might happen during the reform and development of socialist market economy, timely finding out the proper countermeasures of prevention.

Thirdly anti-corruption struggle must be combined with government's important reform measures. Anti-corruption struggle should go in pace with reforms, reducing the breeding ground of corruption through government restructuring.

Fourthly corruption must be cured by a comprehensive measures. Anti corruption is a complicated, arduous social systematic project. We should handle it with effective measures, which are proved by practice, and we should create new means, which apply to free economic market's situation. We will severely deal with law breaching cases, punish discipline and law breaching activities. We also should enhance the education on government ethics, intensifying the establishment of a sound law system. Supervisory organs will enhance supervision in advance. In a word, to build up a clean government with comprehensive means and measures.

During the important moment of crossing of the centuries, it is of great importance to set up an anti-corruption objective, have a clear macro strategy of anti-corruption and take various practical measures to deal with it.

I believe, through this conference, we could exchange and learn from each other the experience of anti-corruption struggle and study together the countermeasures against corruption in civil service, discuss the international co-operation in this field. All this will promote anti-corruption struggle and social development and stability in each country and region. The Ministry of Supervision of China is willing to learn all the experience of other countries and regions, conduct exchanges and co-operation with supervisory organisations of various countries and regions so as to promoting our understanding and friendship, making contribution to the common task of the human beings and bring a clean world into the twenty-first century.

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