Combating Corruption in China
H.E. Dr. Blanca Nélida Colán
I would, on behalf of the delegation of the People's Republic of China and in my own name, like to extend you our warmest congratulations on the opening of the Eighth International Anti-Corruption Conference.
It is well-known that corruption is a negative social phenomenon that influences national stability and economic development and results in sabotage to societies of any kind. All countries, whether they are large or small, strong or weak, no matter what social systems they adopt, carry two common tasks, one is developing national economy for the improvement of people's living standards, the other is combating corruption for a clean and efficient government. This has become a common sense throughout the world. And I am glad to see that anti-corruption drive prevails all over the globe, and the International anticorruption Conference causes world attention and wins support from various circles. It indicates a general desire to reinforce co-operation in countering corruption. The last International Anti-Corruption Conference which was successfully held in Beijing, China in Oct., 1995 has been another good example of such international co-operation.
As a developing country with a population of 1.2 billion, China has focused on the development of its economy in the past 19 years through reform and opening- up. Great achievements have been made and the national strength and people's living standards substantially improved. A stable political and social environment is a necessity for maintaining speedy and healthy development of economy, and anti-corruption struggle creates such a climate. That is why the Chinese government has, ever since the start of reforms and opening-up, persisted in the principle of making economic development the central task, and while promoting economic construction, we have put a firm grip on anticorruption struggle with the efforts to safeguard stability and promote reform and development. In dealing with corruption, we focus our attention on those leading administrative organs, judicial bodies, law enforcement departments and economic managing agencies that are vulnerable to corruption. Based on the country's reality, we, in recent years, have centred on the following three main jobs: firstly, the promotion of the integrity and self-discipline of leading officials. The Chinese government has enacted a Code of Conduct for leading officials at various levels of government. They are required to make self-check- up in compliance with the provisions and behave themselves in accordance with the set standards. Secondly, the investigation of corrupt cases including cases which involved high-ranking officials. Corrupt officials were severely sanctioned. Thirdly, the build-up of professional ethics and the correction of wrong doings in public services. We have dealt with problems that caused public concerns such as illegal collection of fees and irregular fines. Simultaneously, inspection has been intensified over the implementation of state laws, regulations and administrative decisions.
The Chinese government holds that a clean government can be guaranteed by the system of rule of law, and we have consistently made efforts in establishing a legal system that would ensure the integrity of government recently, new progress has been achieved. In March this year, "The Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China" was revised at the plenary section of the National People's Republic Congress (the Parliament). Provisions concerning the penalty of corruption and bribery were added. And in April, " the Administrative Control Act' was promulgated which provides a legal basis for supervisory bodies to perform the function of control and inspection. Some rules and regulations with regard to the ethics in government were also made public. They made it clear how leading officials should behave under the conditions of building a socialist market economy. We have also established some systems such as the financial disclosure system, the system of gift registration and the system of power separation. We hope that anti-corruption struggle will gradually be legalised and standardised. Soon after the Seventh International anticorruption Conference, China created a new body called Corruption and Bribery Investigation bureau, specialising in countering corruption. It has been proved that the Chinese government is resolute in and is capable of minimising corrupt phenomena that take place in social life.
China is presently in the transitional period from a centrally planned economy to a socialist market economy. It is, therefore, not surprising that corrupt phenomena occur due to the imperfection in operation mechanisms, loop holes in management and corrosive influences of corrupt ideologies on public servants. The government is aware of the harmfulness of corruption to the reforms and economic construction, and reiterates time and again that corruption must be dealt with during the entire process of reform and opening-up. This is a long- term task which deserves resolution and perseverance. Corruption can only be cured by a comprehensive mechanism which brings investigation, education and prevention together. Not only corrupt cases be dealt with, but also the breeding ground be removed. Education is important as well through which a defence line could be formed against the infiltration of evils. Preventive measures must also be taken. Corruption can be prevented from occurrence when legal system is sound, control is intensified and management is improved. We firmly believe that corruption will minimised through our common efforts.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Anti-Corruption is a universal task. It is beneficial to all to conduct exchanges of experience and methods. Organisations engaged in combating corruption in Chine attach great importance to co-operation with counterparts in other countries. We are willing to further our co-operation based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit. We sincerely hope that the present international conference will further promote that anti-corruption struggle the world over. Let us bring into the next century a politically clean, economically prosperous new world. Finally, I wish the conference a complete success.