Firm in fighting corruption

Updated: 2013-03-28 07:16

(China Daily)

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Tuesday's State Council meeting on clean governance once again demonstrated the new leadership's determination to fight corruption and build a cleaner, thriftier and more efficient government to be ruled by law and free of abuse of power.

At the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang vowed to deepen anti-corruption efforts through systematic reforms and improvements: from transforming government functions, delegating power to lower-level governments and accelerating the marketization of public resources trading, to promoting information disclosure on environmental pollution, food and production safety, and the establishment of an open and transparent budget.

Li's latest campaign for a clampdown on corruption and clean governance came soon after he was sworn in as China's top government head and thus reflects the consistency of the anti-corruption efforts launched by the new leadership.

As Li said, the failure to curb and effectively address corruption will cause the government to lose credibility and public support. And as he rightly pointed out, the most effective way to combat corruption is to make power open and transparent.

It is the lack of openness and transparency in governance mechanisms, especially the lack of an open and transparent budget, that creates the space for the corruption, squandering and extravagance of officials.

His demand that all levels of government should detail and deepen the openness of their budgets, budgets on government-funded overseas trips, vehicles and receptions in particular, and that governments above the county level should disclose their expenditures for government-funded receptions starting this year, is a sign that the country has accelerated its efforts to build the clean and austere government that is long overdue.

It also represents a concrete step toward fulfilling the commitment he made at the first news conference after he was elected premier, that his government will refrain from using public money to construct new government buildings, reduce the number of government employees and slash public spending on receptions, official travels and purchases of government vehicles during his tenure.

Public expectations have been high that China's new leaders can really "put power within the cage of regulations" and effectively narrow its ever-widening wealth gap through sweeping reforms in key areas. The reform-minded anti-corruption campaign will prove effective as long as Li's directives are observed.

(China Daily 03/28/2013 page8)