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'Stand-off' in anti-graft war|
Updated: 2012-08-24 02:07 By WANG HUAZHONG ( China Daily)
Supervision of power will be pivotal to China’s battle against corruption, with the forces of corruption and those fighting it currently at a "stand-off", a senior anti-corruption official has said.
Li Xueqin, head of the research division under the Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, made the remarks in a recent interview in which he discussed the anti-corruption efforts made in the 20 years since the Party declared a war on corruption in 1993.
Li said that "stand-off" status is the best description of the overall situation.
Li said China faces grim challenges in fighting corruption. He said for every achievement, problems still exist, and while it is an impossible task to eliminate corruption in the short term, there is increasing pressure from the public to stamp out the practice.
Li said the focus of the 1993 mission has changed over the years from fighting corruption to preventing it.
In the first 10 years of the mission, the strategy was to curb the rising trend of corruption, and the main tasks were upholding leaders’ integrity and investigating cases.
In the past 10 years, however, the main focus has shifted to prevention, and to eradicating the roots of the crime, according to Li.
Li said legal frameworks and international cooperation has improved in the past five years. More than 50 laws and regulations have been formulated to help fight corruption during that time.
And a group of fugitives suspected of corruption, including Lai Changxing who had been at large for 12 years in Canada, have been repatriated, a sign that runaway suspects have few chances of escape, Li added.
More than 60 officials at ministerial and provincial levels were among the 600,000 people who have been punished for violating Party and government rules since the 17th CPC National Congress was held in 2007, according to a report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The Transparency International based in Berlin last year elevated China to 75th place among 183 countries and regions on a transparency index.
The achievement came amid the importance that senior leaders of the Party have placed on fighting corruption.
President Hu Jintao has warned that corruption was one of the growing dangers that confront the Party and it has become more important and urgent for the Party to discipline itself and impose strict rules on its members.
He Guoqiang, head of the commission, said on Tuesday that fighting corruption and promoting integrity would provide a "solid guarantee" to the positive development of the Party and the country.
He asked the Party to improve its system of punishment and prevention of corruption in order to ensure the country remains corruption free today and in the years ahead.
Li predicted that a key transitional period is coming.
"We’ll completely, rather than partly, contain the corruption issue. And the issue will go from a vulnerable stage to a manageable stage.
"I think the three most prominent problems are: the large number of corruption cases involving officials in high positions; the large amount of money in the cases; and the large number of ‘heads’ that are nabbed."
Li summarized that the root cause of the problem is ineffective supervision and weak counterbalance of government power, and rectifying these issues will be the key to fighting corruption in the future.
Xinhua contributed to this story.