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China ups anti-graft crackdown amid economic woes

China ups anti-graft crackdown amid economic woes

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for a renewed fight against corruption because of worries the financial crisis may boost graft, state media said Wednesday.
Corruption is a major problem in China, costing the country more every year than it spends on education. Hu and other leaders have said that graft is one of the most serious threats to the country's political stability.
"In the anti-corruption efforts, we should focus on both punishment and prevention to earn trust from the people and provide solid assurance for reform, development and stability," Hu said according to a front-page article in the People's Daily, the main mouthpiece of the Communist Party.
China's economy has plunged in recent months as the decline in demand for Chinese goods globally has forced thousands of factories to close, causing factory workers to take to the streets demanding pay and protesting layoffs.
Growing joblessness amid the financial crisis will likely compound simmering dissatisfaction among the poor over corruption. Graft is also a focal point of protests by ordinary Chinese, who vent anger over the widening gap between rich and poor and illegal attempts to seize land.
In a further sign of the government's sensitivity on the issue, Hu's comments were made to the ruling Communist Party's top anti-graft body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. He urged them to focus on power abuse, bribery and misconduct, and pledged that no corrupt officials would be allowed to escape punishment, the People's Daily, reported on its front page.
China launched a five-year plan to fight corruption in April. The government recently cut the budget for overseas trips taken by government officials, after dozens of officials were caught last month taking lavish vacations disguised as business trips to the U.S. on taxpayer money.


Updated : 2021-02-26 21:23 GMT+08:00