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China vows to make society more accountable

23 october 2011, 17:47
A market in Beijing. ©Reuters
A market in Beijing. ©Reuters
China has pledged to hold people more accountable for their actions following a string of scandals involving everything from food safety to fakes, AFP reports.

China's State Council, or cabinet, said business fraud, the sale of fake products and "improper academic behaviour" persisted, despite government efforts to eliminate them, and were posing major problems for Chinese society.

"The people are very displeased," said a statement released late Wednesday after a cabinet meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The State Council called on government at all levels to build what it called a "social accountability system" to ensure that people were protected and the dishonest were punished.

This would include keeping records of poor performance in areas such as product quality, food and drug safety and academic research, it said.

Many Chinese people are angry about what they see as the government's failure to tackle those behind persistent problems, including the food safety scandals that have become a regular feature of life.

China has suffered a series of such scandals in recent years, from toxic milk to dyed buns.

And in May, the country's top court ordered that capital punishment be used for food safety crimes that result in deaths.

The country is also home to the biggest counterfeit market in the world, despite repeated government pledges to root out fake goods.

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