Graftbuster warns on trouble in high places

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 March, 1999, 12:00am

A large number of 'black sheep' remain within the bureaucracy, especially in areas such as finance, construction and personnel, senior graftbuster Wei Jianxing said.

A speech released yesterday, which Mr Wei made to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in January, said corruption cases involving leading cadres 'have increased with no sign of abating'.

Mr Wei, head of the commission, said: 'In some areas, the problems of officials offering protection to smugglers or engaging in foreign exchange frauds remains serious.

'There are also some cadres in leading positions who fail to practice self-discipline or even condone their spouses, children and associates engaging in illegal activities.' He said some leading cadres failed to understand the gravity of the anti-corruption campaign and lacked the determination to implement Beijing's directives.

According to Xinhua, which reported Mr Wei's speech, 158,000 cadres were disciplined for graft last year including 5,357 middle-ranking cadres. Twelve senior officials - those at or above provincial level - were disciplined.

Mr Wei said cadres in leading positions must practise self-discipline 'more vigorously' to curb corruption and follow through an eight-point code of conduct set by the party.

He told investigators to focus on corruption in the Judiciary and prosecution departments, and the finance and construction sectors. Officials in charge would be held responsible for losses of state assets when they sold or liquidated state-owned enterprises, he said.