Chinese daily lauds action against official in sex video
The prompt action against an official whose sex video was posted on the internet demonstrates an unusually quick, comprehensive victory for a microblogging website to combat corruption, said an article in a state-run Chinese daily.
The article in the Op-Ed section of Global Times Saturday said authorities in Chongqing have confirmed that the man in a sex video leaked by a microblogger was Lei Zhengfu, party chief of the municipality's Beibei district.
"Lei has been dismissed from his position and a graft investigation has been launched, demonstrating an unusually quick, comprehensive victory for Weibo in anti-corruption," it said.
Ji Xuguang, the microblogger who uploaded the video to his verified Weibo account, claims to be an investigative journalist.
"Chongqing authorities' rapid response also marks change - in previous cases authorities usually hesitated about acting on online claims of corrupt officials. Ji's complete victory could become a milestone in China's reform under the pressure of public opinion," said the article.
It said that in recent years, China's disciplinary authorities have ferreted out many corrupt officials.
"But anti-corruption efforts through evidence provided by microbloggers have been especially impressive. Weibo's pressure on official ecology is unprecedented, since microblogging represents ubiquitous public supervision.
"This is a rare, and somehow unexpected, opportunity for China's fight against corruption, but it is certainly not without problems," it said.
The article noted that one important reason for the prominent role of Weibo is that "normal channels of supervision are often obstructed".
It went on to say that effort must be made to protect Weibo's independence and fight against corruption, but the "competence of normal supervision mechanisms should be boosted".
"Weibo anti-corruption is becoming successful due to authorities' active response.
"In the future, Weibo supervision should have more interaction with official channels. It should help bring about clean governance and national progress, rather than create division and undermine social cohesion. Needless to say, authorities must catch up and follow closely in this process, lest they appear passive," it said.