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President Hu Jintao calls for corruption fight
Updated: 2006-01-08 08:43

The Communist Party of China (CPC) called on its members Saturday to do more to fight corruption and problems such as unpaid back wages for migrant workers.

The appeal warned against complacency in a multiyear anti-graft campaign.

The fight against corruption is a long-term, complicated and arduous task, and Party must push ahead with its anti-graft drive unswervingly, President Hu Jintao said in a speech during a two-day meeting of the party's top discipline body.

Severe punishments should be meted out for those who have violated Party rules in such ways as abuse of power, embezzlement of public funds, giving and receiving bribes, and dereliction of duty, Hu said.

Thousands of officials have been punished, and some executed, in an effort to stamp out graft and other abuses.

Former Land and Resouce Minister Tian Fengshan was jailed for life last month on charges of taking bribes as late as 2003, well after the start of the latest crackdown.

In December, China's national audit office said it found financial abuses at government agencies last year totaling $36 billion. It said 196 officials were prosecuted or received administrative punishment.

The party declaration also promised to take action on other issues that could fuel unrest, including billions in unpaid wages owed to migrant workers and illegal school fees that many poor families can't afford.

Millions of Chinese have been left behind by their country's 25-year-old economic boom, especially in the vast, poor countryside, home to some 800 million people.

The government is in the midst of a campaign to force employers to pay back wages owed to laborers from the countryside who work in construction and other dirty, dangerous urban jobs. Estimates of wages owed to migrants range as high as $12 billion.

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