System working to hold violators
Updated: 2012-10-17 23:25
By WANG HUAZHONG (China Daily)
Inspection authorities have held 509 officials accountable in 1,480 cases of illegal land seizure and the violent demolition of property in the past five years, the top discipline watchdog said on Wednesday.
The punishments come amid the Communist Party of China's expansion of a system used to investigate officials accused of misdeeds and punish them if they are found guilty. The 17th CPC National Congress had proposed taking steps toward those ends in 2007.
According to a document the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent to China Daily on Wednesday, the accountability system "have concentrated on issues that directly affect people's interests".
In 2011 alone, the Ministry of Supervision handed down disciplinary punishments to 57 officials in 11 cases of forced demolitions that led to deaths or injuries, the document said.
Thirty-one of the officials were transferred for legal proceedings.
Land disputes emerged as rural China's most pressing social problem, according to an annual report released previously by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Other reports said people have resorted to extreme means — even at the risk of their lives — to prevent their properties from being demolished.
Analysts said the handling of such cases over the years shows the Party and the government will not give shelter to those who infringe on the rights of the people.
The 17th CPC National Congress proposed that a comprehensive system be established to investigate officials' obligations, audit officials' economic responsibilities and remove wrongdoers from their positions.
Since then, a series of regulations has been adopted to hold officials accountable for their misdeeds and improve the supervision of power, said the document.
One of the regulations, the provisional regulation to hold Party and government officials accountable, which took effect in 2009, lists seven types of punishments that must come in response to specific misdeeds.
The regulations put a "tighter cap" on the use of government power, the document said.
Besides demolition, inspection authorities are also trying to punish officials found responsible of compromising the safety of food and drugs or damaging the environment.
At the central level, the Ministry of Supervision and the Ministry of Environmental Protection has handed out disciplinary punishments in the past five years to 130 people in 32 cases related to environmental issues.
At the local level, authorities have closed 4,854 companies that failed to meet standards set for pollution control and held 632 officials accountable for misdeeds.
Moreover, 3,733 officials were disciplined during the period and 2,393 officials were dealt with in legal proceedings related to land cases.