China’s Supreme Court affirms commitment to corruption crackdown

World Today

China’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate have delivered their work reports to lawmakers and political advisors attending the annual political gathering in Beijing.

China’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate have delivered their work reports to lawmakers and political advisors attending the annual political gathering in Beijing.

The Chief Justice summed up major achievements of 2016, with a focus on the fight against corruption, correcting unjust verdicts, and deepening judicial reforms. The top Prosecutor spelled out the mission of his agency: investigating and preventing abuse of power.

CGTN’s Han Bin spoke to some deputies and experts, who strongly support the anti-corruption campaign. But, they say punishment alone is not the answer.

China's Supreme Court affirms commitment to anti-corruption crackdown

China's top legal chiefs receive strong support for the court's anti-corruption campaign. But critics contend punishment alone is not the answer.

This year, expectations for building a clean government are running even higher, with the release of figures highlighting the courts 2016 conviction rate of corrupt officials. These figures are seen as the key achievements in the war on corruption. They also indicate just how serious the problem is. Many experts say the focus should be on the causes of corruption rather than its symptoms. Professor He Jiahong of Renmin Law School says a new mindset is needed because the backlog is so great.

“If we do not deal with corruption, accumulated in last 30 years carefully, we can’t have the good institutions or systems to prevent future corruption,” He Jiahond said. “We should have strict corruption investigations, but we should have different policies dealing with different corruptions [that] happened [at] different times.”

He Jiahong advocates a leniency program for crimes committed long ago, to encourage corrupt officials to come clean. They would be given a timeline to declare their illegal assets. The professor says what’s needed is an accountability system that ensures prevention and oversight of those in power, to close the loopholes.

Ever since new leadership took office five years ago, China’s government has been intensifying its crackdown on corruption year after year – targeting both the “tigers and flies.” In October of 2016, President Xi Jinping called for guaranteeing that officials dare not, cannot and do not want to be corrupt. Steps are reportedly being taken to establish a national supervisory commission and push the stipulation of a law on national supervision.