Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Independent body better to fight corruption

By Du Zhizhou (China Daily) Updated: 2013-11-07 07:25

Corruption among officials remains a serious problem, and it is not just officials at the grassroots level. As the efforts intensify, some senior officials have been investigated and prosecuted for corruption, and the amount of money involved has been staggering.

The seemingly never-ending stream of corruption scandals is fueling increasing public anger. In surveys conducted by people.com.cn before the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee this year, corruption was one of the respondents' biggest concerns.

Independent body better to fight corruption
Cartoon / Luo Jie

Why is corruption still such a serious problem? One of the most important reasons must be the deficiencies in the existing anti-corruption system, which prevent the anti-graft agencies from fulfilling their duties to their full potential. There are two main loopholes, the agencies' lack of independence and the dispersion of anti-corruption power.

Supervision must be independent of the power it supervises. Nobody can effectively supervise their boss. However, in the current anti-corruption system, local anti-graft agencies are subject not only to higher supervising agencies, but also to the local government and local Party leaders as well.

This means people specializing in anti-graft work have to follow the orders of, and write reports to, local leaders who are supposed to be under their supervision as well. How can they report the corruption of local leaders if it is to these local leaders they have to make their reports?

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