China Asks Officials to Turn Down Bribes in Bribers’ Face

(Xinhua News Agency, Aug. 8, 2016. Complete text:) Guiyang - Following the implementation in January of harsher rules regarding the acceptance of bribes and gifts, provincial governments are abolishing systems that have been misused by officials to hide their ill-gotten gains.

Starting from August, Guizhou government joined at least three other provinces to cancel a special bank account for officials to deposit bribe payments that they had accepted, said Huang Wensheng, deputy secretary of the Guizhou provincial discipline inspection committee.

The accounts have been misused, however, with many officials using the service to hide their wealth and only depositing their dirty money once they are under the radar of graft investigators.

The first "Clean Governance Accounts," were established in the 1990s as part of efforts to reduce corruption while protecting the privacy of officials. Over a dozen Chinese provincial-level governments have established such accounts. The provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and the Inner Mongolia region have recently eliminated such accounts.

Usually, the accounts are managed by the local discipline inspection authorities and banks. The names of the depositor and the sum are not disclosed and the money is turned over to the local treasury.

Zhuang Deshui, a professor at Peking University, explained that the accounts were designed to be an outlet to express a desire to be clean and show remorse.

"However, some officials have misused the service over the years," said Huang.

"Many officials use the account as an umbrella or safe haven. For example, some corrupt officials only deposit bribe money when they face investigation," he said.

Hong Jinzhou, former mayor of Kaili City in Guizhou, stood trial for accepting bribes last year. He was found to have accepted bribes on more than 380 occasions and had attempted to cover up his misdeeds by periodically depositing funds, amounting over 55 million RMB ...

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