Corruption 'not a result of changes'
By DANIEL KWAN
A LIBERAL economist has openly defied claims by Maoists that China's transition to a market economy will lead to corruption in the country.
Mr Wu Jinglian, a veteran consultant to the State Council, said in an interview with the China News Service that corruption was not the ''product of market reform''.
''If we take a pragmatic view of the current situation, then we can easily see that corruption . . . exists because we haven't yet established a market mechanism that would ensure fair competition,'' Mr Wu was quoted by the agency as saying in an article.
The economist also attacked conservatives for erecting obstacles to China's bid to separate enterprises from the government structure.
He said that while it would be a step forward for government officials to leave the hierarchy and compete in the business world, such an ''experiment'' would backfire if these officials did not cut their ties.
''We must set a principle here, that is the separation of government and enterprises . . . or we would only be encouraging more guandao [profiteering],'' Mr Wu said.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily, published an editorial calling for a strengthening of the party's leadership and the promotion of more officials who were familiar with the operation of a market system.
The editorial also said party cadres must constantly upgrade themselves by learning new ''knowledge, technology and all sorts of professions''.