Top graft-fighter vows action to soothe protesters

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 May, 2009, 12:00am

The mainland's top graft-fighter has promised tough action against corruption to soothe petitioners and protesters in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown.

The deputy head of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, Zhang Huixin, addressed a meeting of county-level disciplinary officials last Saturday, China News Service said, giving no indication why the report came days later.

Mr Zhang called on attendees to uncover discord between civilians and officials and solve the problems according to the law. He stressed that local cadres must safeguard the basic interests of the masses and step up the fight against corruption.

Local officials were also advised to deal openly with issues that aroused particular discontent and deal with petitions on a case-by-case basis. They also had to be prepared to properly handle petitions they did not know about in advance, Mr Zhang stressed. 'Furthermore, we will strictly investigate and prosecute all corruption cases that trigger petitions and mass events.'

While he praised the building of a harmonious society, Mr Zhang said the anti-graft mission faced enormous challenges as new problems were always emerging.

He added that many of the gravest problems, including conflicts of interest, had intensified as the country approached a period of critical reform and development - a coded reference to the June 4 anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic on October 1. 'In order to properly deal with both petitions and mass events, we must have them dealt with under the collective leadership of relevant party committee and local governments,' Mr Zhang said.