China media: Military corruption

Papers back Chinese military's efforts to fight corruption Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Papers back the Chinese military's efforts to fight corruption

Papers welcome the Chinese military's decision to investigate 16 generals over corruption allegations.

The authorities on Thursday announced the names of 16 senior military officers who were investigated for graft last year. Their names were published on China Military Online, a portal under the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Observers note that the PLA has taken a "rare step" by making the names public.

A commentary on the military-run website highlights that the army has shown "self-confidence" and "might" by "making the move to reveal its own problems".

"It may seem like the military has lost face, but the fact is that it has won praise," the article claims.

Echoing similar sentiments, an article in Haiwai Net adds that the move shows the resolution and determination of the party to govern itself and the military with strictness.

"The public was taken by surprise because of the military's self-revealing move," notes the Global Times.

"The military's resolution to combat corruption is indeed encouraging as it has taken a raft of measures to fight the 'tigers' and also keep tight control of officials' alcohol consumption and the use of subsidised vehicles and residences."

The editorial, however, stresses that the military is still in "good shape despite corruption cases and other problems" it has faced in recent years.

Though the anti-corruption effort is gaining momentum, Yue Gang, a military commentator, says that the army is still facing grave challenges to curb corruption.

"This reflects the deep-rooted corruption problems within the military. It requires heavy-handed decisions to serve as a warning against corrupt officers," the pundit tells the daily.

Cartoon controversy

And finally, while the state's campaign against corruption has won praise, papers wonder why some local governments are worried about the impact of cartoons depicting corrupt officials.

According to a report on Xinhua News Agency's website, the local urban management department in Changsha, in Hunan, has ordered the repainting of walls on a street because of cartoons drawn along it.

Most of the cartoons show corrupt officials in actions such as illegally amassing wealth, fabricating invoices and receiving bribes.

The department felt that the 33 cartoons were "too negative" and "may have caused the public to feel disgusted at the government".

The department's plan has sparked heated debate in papers, with some criticising the officials for attempting to cover up a truth that is well-known.

Local officials later clarified that they are not removing the drawings but were going to "improve" them, the Global Times reports.

"For example, we will add captions to convey a clearer message. This is necessary because the drawings may create a negative impact and encourage others to do the same thing," an official tells the daily.

Several papers, including the China Youth Daily and the Beijing News, urge the local government to leave the cartoons.

"China's anti-graft watchdog has even started a comic page to invite users to submit cartoons on corruption. Yet, some local government departments are unwilling to accept these drawings," the Shenzhen Business News notes.

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