War on corruption to continue, party vows

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 December, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 December, 2005, 12:00am

Communist Party leaders yesterday pledged to continue the battle against graft next year with special emphasis on corruption in the business sector and more help for farmers.

In a statement released by Xinhua last night, the Communist Party Politburo said corruption remained a widespread and rampant problem despite years of trying to stem the tide.

'It remains an arduous task to curb corruption and build a clean government,' said the statement from the meeting chaired by Communist Party General Secretary and President Hu Jintao .

'Comrades in the party should remain sober-minded and ... step up the fight against corruption' in the coming year.

'[We will] concentrate our efforts to carry out special campaigns against [those accepting bribes] in the commercial sector and resolutely investigate cases which involve violation of party disciplines,' it said.

The meeting also discussed the issue of monitoring cadres and stopping the spread of corruption in the bureaucracy.

It also discussed ways to narrow the economic and social gap between the vast under-developed rural areas and cities, repeating the new political slogan 'building a new socialist countryside'.

The slogan - which first appeared in party documents after a plenum in October - was designed to highlight the leadership's emphasis on rural areas. According to Xinhua the Politburo meeting also reviewed the various issues that were facing the agricultural sector and farmers.

'[We] still need to do a great deal of work to resolve the 'san nong' problems,' the statement said referring to the problems of rural areas, agriculture and farmers.

The leadership decided a national conference on rural areas would be held soon and the party's anti-corruption investigators would hold their annual conference next month.

'There still needs a great deal of hard work to solve the 'san nong' problems,' said the statement, referring to the three problem areas of agriculture, rural affairs and the peasantry.

Like previous meetings and speeches by the senior officials, the statement promised to support agriculture and rural development and raise the standard of living for millions of farmers - but did not give specifics.