China’s Premier Lays Out Corruption Fight Plan

Feb 24, 2014

China’s Premier Lays Out Corruption Fight Plan

One of the biggest obstacles China’s leadership faces in fighting corruption, according to Premier Li Keqiang, is the Chinese government.

In newly published remarks, Premier Li said the government’s broad regulatory powers over markets and business are key drivers of rampant graft.  He named bidding for construction projects, government procurement and the awarding of land-use and mining rights as areas particularly prone to corruption.

Such processes need to be better standardized this year, and “leading cadres should not meddle,” Mr. Li said at a meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, on Feb. 11.

Only excerpts of the remarks were published at the time. A more complete version of his remarks was released Sunday by the official Xinhua news agency (in Chinese).

While no explanation was given for the time lag, Mr. Li’s remarks painted a broad picture of the government’s anti-corruption efforts for this year.

Since being installed at the top of the Communist Party leadership in late 2012, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li have pledged to attack corruption at every level of the government and party.

A slew of officials and executives at state-owned enterprises have been detained. Only a few have been put up for public prosecution, and there has been little transparency in the investigations. That has raised questions among China watchers, legal reformers and many Chinese of whether the campaign will prove effective at eradicating root causes of corruption.

Mr. Li nodded to calls by some anti-corruption campaigners, saying that openness and greater public supervision are necessary for fighting graft.

“Openness is the most powerful anticorruption measure,” Mr. Li said in his remarks. He pledged greater transparency over the budget and government spending.

Absent from his comments, however, was a call for disclosure of officials’ assets.  In recent months, some activists who have pushed for such new transparency measures have faced harsh reprisals. One well-known campaigner for disclosure, Xu Zhiyong,was sentenced in January to four years in prison on charges of disturbing public order for organizing demonstrations against corruption and social injustice.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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