War on graft: Zero tolerance for corruption fuelled Beijing’s rise

Journalists briefed on how China emerged world’s second largest economy.

Qamar Zaman July 21, 2012

GUANGZHOU/ CHINA: China’s zero tolerance for corruption has helped it to replace Japan as the second largest economy of the world.

The three most effective tools in China’s war on corruption are monitoring, transparency, and the most lethal deterrent to corruption – death penalty.

Communist Party of China (CPC) invited journalists from six neighbouring courtiers to brief them about its war on corruption on July 5, at the provincial capital of Guangdong, Guangzhou - the third largest city of China.

Being first to open the doors for foreign enterprise it also took lead in adopting the anti-corruption initiatives of the CPC. The CPC affairs are open through media and are strengthened through transparency to nullify the impression that ‘war on corruption’ is a tool to gain political mileage among party members.


The work of eight million party members in the city is monitored through multi-layered checks of 22,000 supervisory personnel in Guangzhou who are also under a check.

“There are no party (CPC) members with privileges no matter how high are their positions and how much services have they rendered,” said Wang Xingning, director general of Guangdong Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection during the briefing.

“Party members are required to inform about the status of their children and spouse who are living abroad or visiting abroad,” he said.

“No…there is no concept of dual nationality in China,” said the commissioner in response to a query. It limits the options to escape accountability.

Death penalty for corruption

Xingning said there is no concept of mercy for those found guilty of corruption. Several officials of the director general rank have been given death penalty for corruption, he said.

In all, 2,300 cases of abuse of power have been decided since adoption of the anti-corruption initiative in 1997. “We have recovered three billion RMB lost in corruption,” he said. “There is a hotline for people to lodge their complaints,” he said. Generally a case, after the complaint, is decided within three months.


Since Guangzhou is growing with every passing day, the Guangzhou Construction Project Bidding Center was founded to ensure open, fair and equitable construction environment and to improve the quality of construction.

Supervised by the CPC, the centre provides all services to bidders under one roof. “We complete the bidding process of every small and mega project in 20 days,” said Fun Qun, Director Bidding Centre.  Everything related to bidding process is open and is evaluated by a panel of experts without fear or favour. State owned enterprises compete in the open market with others, the director added.  “The centre has completed 38,631 bids and there is no complaint,” he added.


Awareness and education of the youth, during their study at university is another remarkable Chinese tool to combat corruption and this is being done at Beijing Normal University Zhuhai (BNUZ).

Professor Wei Tang said that anti-corruption activities helped promoting the self discipline and perseverance that will hopefully prevent the youth from developing a corrupt mentality.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012. 

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