Fight corruption, top public message to 18th Congress

Ming Pao says in its exclusive report: Three official nets have been soliciting public messages to the 18th Congress. Corruption is the greatest concern. Mao worship does not lack support.

In the report, it says, “Three major Chinese official nets have set their columns of messages to the 18th Congress to collect public opinions. ‘Fighting corruption’ becomes a topic of greatest concern.”

Net users vied with one another to ask the central authorities to punish corruption severely, and order officials to make public their assets. They directed their attack at the top leadership.

The message “holding high the banner of Mao Zedong” has won support from quite a few people. Under stringent censorship, the messages displayed on the nets have all been screened. Analysts believe the authorities have publicised those opinions intentionally.

“There Must Be the Courage to Apply Dog-head Guillotine to Politburo Standing Committee Member”

The “Messages to the 18th Congress” column opened in xinhuanet.com on October 12 and had  2,149 messages by yesterday evening, of which 153 concerned the fight against corruption. Some of these were directly addressed to the highest leadership, and said that in fighting corruption, there must be the courage to apply Dog-head Guillotine to Politburo Standing Committee member.

Note: In feudal China, the death penalty required approval from the emperor. In Chinese legend, the Dog-head Guillotine was the guillotine an emperor of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) granted legendary corruption-bust official Bao Zheng to execute corrupt officials without requesting approval from the emperor.

On October 19, Central TV’s cntv.cn set up a special “Rejuvenation Forum” to attract posts to allow net users to “speak their minds in their messages to the 18th congress.” Net users may leave messages or hit icons to show their support to other people’s messages. The message “expect intensification of the fight against corruption” has got 1,703 supports, ranking first and exceeding by far the 723 supports “happy life,’ the second ranked message achieved. “Owning one’s own residence” ranks the third with 455 supports.

people.com, the first net that set up such a column, has been most popular. Zaidao, a net user from Jinan, Shandong, left a message “declaration of officials’ assets to the public” got support from over 6,000 people, ranking first, and the number of his supporters has kept on rising. That is quite strange as Zaidao did not post his message until 11.00am yesterday. The second-ranking message, showing concern on inequality in retirement and pension welfare, has only 4,000-odd supporters though it was posted as early as October 22.

What is worth noticing is that both the messages on the political structural reform and “Mao Zedong Banner” have their respective supporters on the three official nets. A net user who calls himself “an old communist party member”, hopes that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds high the banner of Mao Zedong to resolve the problems related to people’s livelihood and raise the Party’s and government’s sense of responsibility. He has third-ranking support on people.com.

Messages Have Been Screened by Sensors and “Redressing June 4” Has Been Removed

The messages displayed on the three nets have all undergone censorship. Messages of “redressing June 4”, “rehabilitating Zhao Ziyang”, and the like are not displayed. The last serial number of the messages on xinhuanet.com was 2,938, but only 2,149 messages have been displayed. It means about 800 messages have been blocked by censors.

Current affairs commentator Liu Ruishao says that similar “investigation” on official nets is routine activity. All the messages have been screened and the messages allowed to be made public are those the authorities published intentionally. He believes that at present, corruption is structural in China and officials shield one another. The CCP has no transparency nor complies with the rule of law in its fight against corruption. That is why corruption has become increasingly rampant.

Academic: Bo Xilai’s Case Has Made Public Indignation Culminate

Beijing historian Zhang Lifan says that Bo Xilai and his family members’ corruption has become a hot topic among the general public and caused them to pay attention to CCP top-level corruption. They all will perhaps think that since Bo was able to commit corruption to such an extent even when he was not promoted into the Politburo Standing Committee, “what if he has been promoted into it?”

Accumulated public indignation against corruption has therefore culminated this year. He believes that Wen Jiabao should exploit the opportunity offered by the New York Times’ report on his family’s wealth to promote the sunshine law.

The day before yesterday, the Central Discipline Inspection Commission published its report, stressing “development of the Party’s advanced nature and purity” and perfection of the system to punish and prevent corruption. Xinhau’s Op-Ed article also says, “if we fail to tackle corruption effectively, we will lose people’s trust and support and there will be danger for the party and state to perish.”



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  1. China: Party leaders pay lip service to tackling corruption « China Daily Mail

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