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Anti-graft efforts have world’s attention
2018-03-12, FU JING

The progress China has made in its anti-corruption campaign is welcome and important for the international community, said a global anti-graft monitoring organization based in Berlin.

Alejandro Salas, regional director of the Americas and senior Asia-Pacific expert at Transparency International, also expected China to increase efforts and laws to eradicate corruption.

“It is very welcome that China is taking the issue of corruption seriously and allocating time and resources to it,” Salas said.

“China is a leading global player and, as such, the example it can show to the world and the results it achieves are important for the international community.”

Salas made the comments during the two sessions in Beijing, at which anti-graft progress was to be assessed and new efforts in institutional capacity building were high on the agenda.

Salas expected the deputies and members of the two sessions to conduct open and honest conversations about the policies and actions that China has promoted so far, a critical evaluation of the achievements and an honest assessment of the flaws and limitations.

“Another expectation is that if the conversations and assessments happen, the focus of the sessions should be on identifying and committing to improve areas where weaknesses exist and to new actions and solutions to have an even stronger anti-corruption package.”

China’s anti-corruption authorities are keen to borrow from international experiences to eradicate corruption in China. Guo Yong, a professor at Tsinghua University, represents Salas’ organization in China and is closely advising the Ministry of Supervision.

Salas said his organization likes to be more active in supporting China, as Transparency International has a lot of technical experience and knowledge of the topic.

“There is political will at the top in China, and that is important,” said Salas, adding that on many occasions the advice and suggestions from his organization have been welcomed, especially those coming from his colleagues working in China.

“We are grateful for that,” he said.

During the previous five years, the country has made notable changes in its anti-graft campaign and is now setting up a national supervisory commission to oversee all officials exercising public power in accordance with the law.

The deputies to the National People’s Congress, the highest lawmaking body, were expected to review and vote on the adoption of a series of amendments to the Constitution at the annual session, which began on March 5.

The proposal to establish a national supervisory commission was included in the agenda.

China has focused its anti-corruption efforts on identifying, prosecuting and punishing the corrupt. “This is a complex and hard task because of the size of the country, the diversity and the different levels of government,” Salas said.

Salas said China should continuously focus on prevention mechanisms, sanctioning the corrupt, and on ethics and education to change the mind-set and practices of younger generations.

He believes China has the potential to implement a successful anti-corruption strategy because there is the political will at the highest levels and the institutional strength to achieve it.

“We have found out through our years of experience and studies that one of the most important factors to curb corruption is the strength of institutions,” Salas said.

 

Wu Nian contributed to this story.


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