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Statement at the Conference of the States Parties of UNCAC by Assistant Foreign Minister Qian Hongshan, Head of the Chinese Delegation

Madam President,

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese delegation I would like to congratulate you on your election as the president of this session of the conference and I am confident that under your leadership this session would be a complete success. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretariat for the excellent arrangement and dedicated work for the conference.

Madam President, ladies and gentlemen,

Corruption is a vicious tumor of human society that undermines sustainable economic development, erodes social equity and justice and endangers long-term national stability and security. The fight against corruption is of great significance for achieving political righteousness and integrity, sustainable economic development as well as social equity and justice, has become a topical issue in global governance and represents one of the important objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China attaches great importance to the fight against corruption. Particularly over the past five years, a series of effective measures has been taken to improve the anti-corruption legal and regulatory systems, promote the reform of government institutions and transformation of government functions, strengthen the oversight on power and the implementation of anti-corruption policies and as a result the anti-corruption campaign has been built into a crushing tide which is being consolidated and continues to build up. It has not only won sincere support from the Chinese people but also favourable feedback at the international level. At the same time, China has also actively been engaged in international cooperation to counter corruption and contributed China’s approach to fight corruption to the global governance. This includes, inter alia, active participation in international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations, promoting the G20, APEC and Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others in setting up mechanisms of cooperation against corruption, and in adopting Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption and the G20 High Level Principles on Cooperation on Persons Sought for Corruption and Asset Recovery and making financial contributions to the Implementation Review Mechanisms and International Anti-Corruption Academy.

Two weeks ago, the Chinese Communist Party successfully held its 19th National Congress, which re-emphasized that in the fight against corruption, no place shall be out of bounds, no ground left unturned and no tolerance be given to corruption. Emphasis shall continue to be on curbing, strong pressure and long-term deterrence against corruption. Both passive and active bribery shall be investigated. Efforts shall be made to promote anti-corruption national legislation, continue to deepen anti-corruption international cooperation and deepen the reform of the national supervisory system to gradually achieve full-scale supervisory coverage on the public servants who exercise public power.

Tomorrow at 4:30 pm , the Chinese delegation will hold a briefing in Room M7, at which detailed information will be presented on the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party as well as the efforts made to improve the Party conduct and integrity and the experience on the fight against corruption. All the delegates are welcome to the briefing.

Madam President,

Fifteen years ago, in this very building, the 1st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption was convened, thus starting the prelude to the formulation of this global anti-corruption legal instrument. To date, the Convention has become the most authoritative and influential legal instrument in the anti-corruption field, which not only has established the pillars of the global governance against corruption, but also embodies the widespread wishes and urgent need of the international community to counter corruption. Today, we are once again gathering at the birth place of the Convention to look back at our good original intentions of formulation the Convention and strong determination for practical cooperation. We should use this occasion as a new starting point to begin a new journey of anti-corruption international cooperation.

For this purpose, the Chinese delegation would like to make the following three proposals.

To jointly discuss the fight against corruption based on equality and mutual benefits while taking into account the interests of all parties

Extensive representation builds the grand stage of the Convention on which each Contracting State is a leading actor. We may have different political systems and are at different stages of development, but as a Chinese saying goes “the deliciousness of the soup lies in its different ingredients”. As long as we remain committed to the fundamental principle of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, take into account the interests and concerns of all parties and pool together the wisdom and strength of all parties, we would be able to maintain the vitality of the Convention.

In our view, the Implementation Review Mechanism is an important key to the effective implementation of the Convention. Adhering to the principle of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs and the spirit of non-confrontation and non-politicization has been critical for the smooth running of the 1st Review Cycle. China is ready to work with other states to carry out the review activities within the terms of reference by always adhering to the above principle and spirit and to promote the effective implementation of the Convention by improving the Review Mechanism.

To jointly build the anti-corruption mechanism by strengthening the role of the Convention and overcoming the institutional differences

At present, corruption, terrorism and transnational crime are increasingly associating with each other with increasingly secretive modus operandi and more harmful consequences. However, virtue always dwarfs vice. In the face of these new problems and challenges, we should proceed from the needs of fighting corruption to enhance the mechanism building and innovation under the framework of the Convention, to jointly improve the existing mechanisms and explore new ones.

In our opinion, asset recovery is an important mechanism established by the Convention and states have the obligations to provide each other with the most extensive cooperation and assistance in line with the requirements of the Convention. However, there remain considerable difficulties when it comes to cooperation on asset recovery due to differences in legal systems and other constraints among states. The Chinese government is in favor of developing a guideline document to serve as a reference for states or formulating a legal instrument dedicated to asset recovery so as to enable new progress to be made steadily in building the asset recovery mechanism.

To jointly share the benefit of the fight against corruption for the welfare of the world through deepening international cooperation.

Corruption has been in existence all over the world throughout the history. No country is immune from this scourge. As one is easy to break and the masses are difficult to destroy, only by strengthening international cooperation can the right path be identified for effectively preventing and countering corruption and curbing the spread of this vicious tumor and enabling the people throughout the world to benefit from the fight against corruption.

We are pleased to note that Contracting States have declared that they would not allow themselves to become the safe haven for the corruption offenders, but in practice, some states are still sheltering the corruption offenders and allow them to reside on their territories and the funds of corruption still cannot be returned in-time and in-full. The Chinese government calls on all the states to carry out mutual coordination in identifying, investigating, extraditing, repatriating and prosecuting the suspects of corruption and in tracing, freezing, seizing and returning the funds of corruption by focusing on the long-term development of the world and the welfare of whole mankind, intensifying political consensus and fulfilling political commitments.

Ladies and gentlemen,

There is an old Chinese saying which goes that bravery and fortitude can be demonstrated only in difficult circumstances and jades can be made only through burnish. There bound to be ups and downs on the international path against corruption. The Chinese government will always uphold the Convention as the cornerstone in carrying out practical cooperation with all the states and relevant international organizations in the anti-corruption field and jointly building an international governance system against corruption to be shared by all so as to return a clean world to all the people around the globe.

I wish a full success of this conference. Thank you for your attention.

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