CHINA'S state prosecutors will have their power significantly boosted with two new anti-corruption laws currently being drafted by the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Deputy Procurator-General Liang Guoqing was yesterday quoted by the Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) as saying that they were in the active process of formulating legislation for the Law on Penalties for Corruption and Bribery and the Procurator General's Law. Procuratorate-General offices across the country would step up their intelligence collection through 'closer links with the masses', he said. Mr Liang also promised that the Procuratorate would allocate more resources for anti-corruption investigations. 'The building of a clean government and anti-corruption [measures] are the two essential guarantees for our establishment of a socialist market economy. It is also the key to the success of reform and the fate of the state,' Mr Liang was quoted as saying. Although the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly said it is determined to crack down severely on corrupt officials, the exercise has been hampered by the absence of clear legislation and a lack of competent investigators familiar with the operation of Western businesses. Chinese prosecutors mainly based their anti-corruption prosecutions on the 1979 Criminal Procedural Law which was revised in 1984 to accommodate the needs of a rapidly changing society. But even the revised law was inadequate. For example, it did not spell out clearly whether the anti-graft law also applied to Chinese officials who worked for Sino-foreign joint venture companies in China. According to Mr Liang, the Government was alarmed by the sharp rise in corruption complaints, especially those involving officials in charge of the securities industry and real estate markets, as well as judiciary officials. He admitted many corrupt government officials had abused their power in the vetting of land contracts and share listing of companies. Some were even involved in insider trading and market manipulation. The Deputy Procurator-General blamed some officials for the rapid 'disappearance' of state assets when they sold off state companies under the pretext of enterprise reform. He said the Procuratorate was aware that many officials were laundering their corrupt gains by investing in overseas stock markets and properties. At the same time, investigations were often slow because most of these transactions involved the use of well-trained professionals and computer link-ups which were difficult to trace. The introduction of the new tax system, which provided a clear demarcation of tax revenue between the central and regional governments, had provided another loophole for officials to take bribes. This was evident in the frequent discovery of counterfeit value-added tax certificates in the market, he said. More importantly, Mr Liang said, an increasing number of these corrupt cadres were colluding with members of the judiciary and senior members of the Communist Party. 'Corruption is still very serious . . . and our anti-corruption struggle must have a focus,' Mr Liang said. 'This focus is those cases involving the party and state leadership, judiciary, law enforcement units and the economic departments of the Government. 'When money gets tangled with power, the damage is most serious,' he added.