Rule of law key to fight corruption

Updated: 2014-11-04 16:41

By Li Yang(

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Supervision, delegating power to the market and balancing power under the rule-of-law framework are keys for the anti-corruption institutions China is establishing, says an article in the Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

The investigation of Wei Pengyuan, a corrupt division head in charge of making development plans in the coal mining industries of the National Development and Reform Commission, has set a new record. The investigators found currency worth of 200 million yuan ($33 million) in one of his houses.

The law-enforcement people brought 16 money-counting machines, four of which broke down on the spot because of overuse.

Too much power is concentrated in the officials’ hands in some key departments. And there are no effective internal or external supervisions for these officials who have the power to influence business worth of billions yuan’s energy and resources, which actually belong to the public.

These officials are not only the rule makers, but also the rule implementers, and final decision-makers. The powers of a department head are unchallengeable. And the heads of different department usually form interests groups. The relations and nepotism in the powerful ministry like the NDRC are extraordinarily complicated.

The solutions are simple. NDRC should delegate some its powers to the market, which is a core part of the government reform. The decision-making process should be transparent and under scrutiny not only of the disciplinary departments, but also the market and the society.

That Wei Pengyuan has more houses under his name than his legal income permits him to indicates that the official property reporting system does not work well, because the system is only an internal design within the government. The judicial authorities and the people have no way to say in it.