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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 08:17 GMT
China in anti-corruption struggle
Chinese President Hu Jintao
Mr Hu has warned that corruption threatens the party's survival
Tackling corrupt practices that have become widespread among Chinese officials will be a very tough task, President Hu Jintao has acknowledged.

Addressing the problem would be a "long-term, complicated and difficult struggle", he told the Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog.

The practice is prevalent throughout the ranks of China's bureaucracy.

Mr Hu warned last year that the party's "very survival" depended on how it tackled the issue.

The all-pervasive corruption is seen as a major source of social discontent across the country - which the authorities fear could develop into unrest.

High-profile cases

Mr Hu said that tackling corruption required stronger measures and a more resolute attitude.

Better education and more checks and balances were needed, as well as tough punishments for corrupt officials.

"The party must seriously deal with major corruption cases that greatly infringe on public interests," he said.

The president's speech is the latest in a series of moves by the government to act on the issue.

Several senior officials have been sacked or jailed in recent months.

The most high-profile case involved Shanghai's Communist Party boss, Chen Liangyu, who was sacked over alleged misuse of funds and now faces a criminal investigation.

And earlier this month, Chinese authorities published a list of "10 taboos" for officials ahead of a provincial employment reshuffle, banning bribery, lobbying for promotion and dirty tricks.

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