Ling's arrest a vital lesson for officials

Updated: 2015-07-21 10:33

By Qiao Xinsheng(

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Also, leading officials should be made to spell out their administrative programs through an open channel before implementing them so that their work can be monitored and reviewed by the public. Such a practice will make it easier to promote public oversight.

Before being removed from the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, Ling held a leading position in the General Office of the Party Central Committee for a long time and thus had easy access to top secrets of the Party and country. And he took advantage of his position and power to form a “Shanxi group” by promoting some Party and government officials loyal to him despite their mediocre performance. Such acts have seriously damaged the normal mechanism of officials' appointment. Worse, Lin promoted an unhealthy official atmosphere in which a number of corrupt officials acquired high and even leading positions in their respective regions.

Ling's case should be a vital lesson: a ruling party needs to make system for officials' selection and appointment more open and transparent, or else officials indulging in flattery could be promoted to leading posts despite their mediocrity. Ling's case should also remind us that we should be cautious against and take measures to prevent malpractices in the appointment of officials in some regions and some sections.

Investigations have revealed that in certain regions and departments, only officials from a small circle have the chance of being promoted, prompting many officials to spend all their energy and time to keep their seniors happy while neglecting their actual duty to serve the people. In some regions, senior officials have the decisive say in the appointment and promotion of lower-level officials, making the official appointment mechanism and soliciting of public opinion just formal routines.

Because of the existence of such unofficial arrangements, some officials create good-looking projects to strengthen their political performance and get more opportunities for promotion.

A profound reflection on Ling's case will help improve the officials' promotion system and the credibility of the Party. Ling's case has also underscored the need to set up a transparent appointment and promotion mechanism as soon as possible, in which public appraisals have a bigger say. This will greatly the boost the efforts to cleanse the soil that breeds malpractices and corruption.

The author is a professor of anti-corruption studies at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

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