Chongqing vows to alleviate effects of Bo scandal

Chongqing (China Daily/ANN) - Chongqing's municipal government has pledged to shake off the impact of the Bo Xilai scandal and emphasise the rule of law, according to a report delivered at the ongoing session of the local people's congress.

The government will speed up efforts to build an administration that will improve services for the general public and enterprises, and the rule of law will be fully implemented, said Huang Qifan, mayor of the southwestern municipality, in a report to the annual session of the Municipal People's Congress on Saturday.

Huang added that the government will reject vanity projects that lead to unnecessary spending and said that no person or organisation in the administration will be above the law.

He said the government has tried to banish the disturbing effects that the cases of Bo Xilai, Chongqing's former Party chief, and Wang Lijun, the former deputy mayor and police chief, had on the municipality's development last year.

"The year 2012 was extraordinary in the development of Chongqing. We resolutely followed the decisions of the Party against an exceptional backdrop and complex circumstances".

He added that the government had "managed to maintain a generally stable situation and had achieved healthy social and economic development".

Bo Xilai was sacked in March and his case has been handed over to the judicial authorities who will examine alleged legal violations, according to reports from Xinhua News Agency.

Bo's wife, Bogu Kailai, was convicted of the murder of a British citizen, Neil Heywood. She received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, at a court in Hefei, Anhui province, in August.

Wang Lijun entered the United States consulate in Chengdu without permission in February 2012. He was later sentenced to 15 years in prison after a court in Chengdu, Sichuan province, found him guilty of bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power, and accepting bribes.

Meanwhile, the municipality registered economic growth of 13.6 per cent last year. Urban incomes rose by 13.4 per cent year-on-year, while rural incomes increased by 13.9 per cent.

Huang said the municipal government is targeting GDP growth of 12 per cent year-on- year and a 150,000 increase in the number of local businesses.

"The government still has a long way to go in building a services-oriented administration. The lack of service awareness is evident in some government departments and among civil servants. Poor efficiency at work, being out of touch with the public and corruption still exist," he said.

Huang's report also set out a roadmap for the municipality during the next five years.

The municipality has set a target for total import and export volume to reach 100 billion yuan (US$16 billion) in 2017.

"The plan and the target set by the report are encouraging. The key is how we can implement the plan and realise the targets," said Qu Lunming, a deputy to the Municipal People's Congress, who is also an official on the transport committee in the municipality's Fuling district.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 5 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 6 hours ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 17 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake
    Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake.