Zhao Leji, head of the central leading group on disciplinary inspection, speaks during a conference on national disciplinary inspection work in Beijing, China, May 9, 2020. (DING HAITAO)
BEIJING – China's top anti-graft official on Wednesday called on all parties to join hands to follow the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and build a clean world free from corruption.
Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, made the remarks during a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation.
Zhao said China highly commends the United Nations for its efforts and contributions in preventing and combating corruption, and firmly supports the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in serving as the main channel for global anti-corruption governance.
Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, said China is an active participant in and contributor to global anti-corruption governance
"We welcome the adoption of a political declaration at this special session, and will work with all parties to take the global cause against corruption to a new stage," he said.
He noted the CPC and the Chinese government stand unequivocally against corruption, have kept improving the socialist oversight system with Chinese characteristics and exploring effective ways for the CPC to purify itself as the long-term governing Party.
ALSO READ: Chinese premier urges enhancing anti-corruption work
"These efforts have won the wholehearted endorsement and overwhelming support of the Chinese people and provided strong guarantee for China's enduring peace and stability and sustainable development," Zhao added.
Noting that the CPC Central Committee exercises centralized, unified leadership over all anti-corruption efforts and attacks all forms of corruption with an extraordinary resolve and determination, he said it is the strongest political guidance and guarantee for China's anti-corruption endeavor.
He said the CPC Central Committee has made exercising full and rigorous governance over the Party part of its comprehensive strategy to ensure no no-go zones, no ground and no tolerance for corruption. Multi-pronged measures have been adopted to "take out tigers," "swat flies," and "hunt down foxes." A sweeping victory has been secured and consolidated in all respects of the anti-corruption endeavor.
"We have taken a people-centered approach and resolutely tackled corruption and misconduct involving the people's most immediate interests. With rigorous oversight and inspection, we have made major strategic gains in fighting COVID-19 and achieved a full victory in eradicating extreme poverty," Zhao said.
"We have followed the rule of law in both thinking and action to eradicate the audacity, capacity and desire to commit acts of corruption. We have set up supervisory commissions at all levels to institute a centralized, unified, authoritative and efficient oversight system with complete coverage," he said.
ALSO READ: Corruption crackdown continues
Zhao said China is an active participant in and contributor to global anti-corruption governance. Due to changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, the interests of all countries have become more intertwined. Cooperation is needed, more than ever, in fighting corruption.
Zhao also shared his thoughts on international cooperation against corruption.
"First, we must uphold fairness and justice by punishing wrongdoings while promoting good conduct," he said. The international community needs to forge broad political consensus, take a zero-tolerance attitude toward corruption, build zero-loophole institutions, carry out zero-barrier cooperation, and oppose all acts of providing safe havens to the corrupt or to the proceeds of corruption under whatever excuses.
"Second, we must respect differences and promote equality and mutual learning. We need to respect the sovereignty and political and legal systems of each country, respect their right to choose their own ways of fighting corruption, and oppose the use of 'long-arm jurisdiction' or even interference in other countries' internal affairs in the name of fighting corruption," Zhao said.
Third, efforts must be made to pursue mutually-beneficial cooperation through extensive consultation and joint contribution, he said. "We need to uphold multilateralism and improve the set of rules in global anti-corruption governance on the basis of consensus-building."
READ MORE: Anti-graft supervisory reform set
"Fourth, we must honor commitments and put action first," Zhao said. It is important that Parties to the Convention fully fulfill international obligations. It is also important to extensively conclude treaties on extradition and on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, to remove barriers to cooperation on persons sought for corruption and asset recovery and to deny safe haven to the corrupt.
It is the first time that the UN General Assembly held a special session on anti-corruption issues. The President of the UN General Assembly and high-level representatives from various countries attended the session.