China has no timetable to implement a vaunted and much-publicized scheme to get senior officials to disclose their assets, as there is still no proper system to do so, a top anti-graft official said yesterday.
China’s stability obsessed rulers have repeatedly expressed fear that official malfeasance is undermining its authority and sparking violent protests against corrupt officials.
Some spectacular corruption cases, including the sacking of Shanghai’s Communist Party boss in 2007 and the railways minister earlier this year, have underscored the seriousness of the problem, as the booming economy gives officials opportunity to use their power for private gain.
Beijing has, over the past few years, periodically issued edicts requiring officials to submit reports detailing their property and investment activity, including the overseas business dealings of spouses and children.
Wu Yuliang (吳玉良), deputy head of the party’s main anti-graft body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said it had proven much more complex than anticipated to get the scheme going.
“Making assets public is an effective system that many countries have adopted to fight corruption. We are also of a positive view about this,” he told a news conference.
“For any good system to be feasible we should have ... a sound environment. When conditions are ripe, success will come,” Wu added.
However, there was what he termed a lack of “good faith in society” and no foolproof way of collating and verifying what assets may be reported.
“If these are not in place, people will not believe in the statistics, and relevant agencies also cannot track the figures. If that’s the case, then the reporting of assets cannot play its due role,” Wu said.
“We are pressing ahead with this work in a prudent and active manner,” he added. “Things should take their natural course.”
China ranked 78th out of 178 nations and regions counted in Transparency International’s survey last year of perceived corruption, on par with Greece and Thailand and a better ranking than India’s, but far behind most developed countries.
Fed up with corruption, some avid Internet users are taking a leaf from India’s anti-graft drama by opening Web sites so people can confess to buying off officials.
While some of these Web sites appear to have since been closed down, others are still operating.
They did not specify who is running them and whether they have official approval. In the past, some local governments have tried to use the Internet to encourage citizens and officials to confess to corruption.
When asked about these new sites, Wu said he thought the Internet was a good way for ordinary people to expose corruption.
However, he implied the government was keeping a close watch and would not hesitate to put a stop to the phenomenon if it felt it was necessary.
“Our country has already issued many relevant regulations for the Internet’s management. Those operated in accordance with the rules must be conscientiously run well. Those not run in accordance with the rules must be ‘standardized,’” he said.
“We must guide Internet users to rationally and legally express their demands, and ensure the reliability and factuality of tips sent on the Internet,” Wu said.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around