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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 14:39 GMT
Chinese official vows to end corruption
China's Communist Party Congress
Wu Guanzheng was elected in November's Congress meeting
A senior Chinese Communist Party official has warned of the "extreme danger" posed to the Party by corruption.

Wu Guanzheng, chairman of the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, urged committee members to seek new ways to fight the problem.

CORRUPTION'S TOLL
Alleged smuggler Lai Changxing, January 2001
Seen to affect every level of Chinese life
Senior party members implicated
Frequently raised as major issue during 1989 protests
"All commission members must realise the difficulty, and raise their vigilance and awareness of the extreme danger of corruption," Mr Wu said on Tuesday, according to the official newspaper People's Daily.

There is mounting concern in China that official corruption is eroding the Communist Party's authority.

In late January, a meeting of the party's key Politburo reportedly decided that officials at all levels should submit to public supervision.

'Harsh punishment'

Tuesday's meeting was the commission's second since Mr Wu - also a member of the Politburo - was named as its head at a key Communist Party congress last November.

"We must adhere to the rule of honesty and self-discipline," Mr Wu told the assembled committee members.

He urged them to "harshly punish corrupt officials" and "deepen anti-corruption work within organisations and enterprises."

But he also warned them to "recognise that the struggle against graft is a long-term, difficult and arduous task," the official newspaper said.

Despite the clear pressure on party officials to rid the administration of corruption, correspondents say that many within the party do not want the problem to be tackled in public.

In his key speech to the November congress, President Jiang Zemin said that China would never adopt a Western-like system with separate organs capable of checking the main party.


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08 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
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