Businessmen should avoid seeking political favors: official

2017-03-20 00:39:37 GMT2017-03-20 08:39:37(Beijing Time) Global Times

A senior Chinese discipline official on Saturday highlighted China's commitment to fight corruption in business and government by warning business people of the dangers of seeking political influence for financial gain.

It is abnormal for entrepreneurs to ask government officials to protect their business and obtain political influence, which is unfair competition and dangerous, according to Minister of Supervision Yang Xiaodu in a speech at the China Development Forum.

"His speech echoed the call of Chinese President Xi Jinping to establish a new type of government-business relations based on sincerity and honesty," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times, adding that Yang stressed the need to fight corruption as part of the economic reform.

"The fight against corruption in business is also part of China's efforts to safeguard political security," Gao Bo, an anti-graft expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

To some extent, some businessmen are even capable of controlling local governments, such as influencing the reassignment of government employees, Gao explained.

The most common way is once businessmen succeed in bribing officials, they try to raise their political stature by gaining membership in local people's congresses or people's political consultative conferences, Su said.

They try to influence government policies that favor their interests or their business interests, Su added.

Some officials profit from this practice through rent, intervening in construction projects and embezzlement of public funds, Yang said at the forum.

The huge resources of Chinese companies are not supposed to be used to "corrupt" government officials and society, seek personal gain or taint relations between officials and businesses, he said.

Government-business ties shall remain "close" and "clean," Yang said, adding that they should respect each other and unite for the public good.

The key to "comprehensively deepen reforms" is to achieve economic reform, the core of which is relations between the government and businesses, Su said.

Yang warned that discipline inspection departments will fight any "private arrangement" and make sure the market determines the allocation of resources.

In January, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection called for intra-Party supervision and strict procedures for the selection and promotion of officials to guarantee the selection of clean officials for the central and local governments, Xinhua reported.

China began a pilot supervisory system reform in 2016 in Beijing and North China's Shanxi and East China's Zhejiang provinces. The system requires a new committee to supervise public servants who exercise some form of authority.

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