Li: Disclosure key to clean government

March 27, 2013 at 1:51 AM

BEIJING, March 27 (UPI) -- China's new Premier Li Keqiang, addressing the problem of official corruption, said disclosure is the key to clean governance.

Speaking at a State Council or Cabinet meeting, Li, an economist who has become the No. 2 in the government of President Xi Jinping, said his government will continue to focus on developing the economy, improving living standards and promoting social justice.

"It is imperative to build an innovative and clean government under the rule of law," Li said, China Daily reported.

China has been plagued by graft and official corruption at various levels despite severe crackdown by previous governments.

"The fight against corruption is still arduous under the new circumstances, and a small number of party members have a weak sense of responsibility," said a report on an anti-corruption plan presented earlier this year. The report also talked of "formalism, bureaucratism and extravagance" among some officials.

At the Communist Party annual Congress last November, Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao, speaking about corruption, warned, "If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state."

"Clean governance is the cornerstone for the credibility of a government, and it is expected by the people," Li was quoted as saying.

"Open and transparent use of power is the key to building a clean government."

Li also called for disclosure on food and drug safety and pollution so that government work can be supervised by the public and the media.

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