National Energy Administration (NEA) chief and former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission Liu Tienan is currently facing a tough test.
The Deputy Managing Editor of Caijing Magazine made posts on his Sina Weibo account yesterday, alleging that Liu had faked his academic qualifications and was involved in improper dealings with business associates. The NEA has responded quickly, saying that this was slander, and that it will report the case to the police.
This is the first case of Weibo posts targeting national-level officials, even though the online platform has already been the driving force in a series of corruption cases.
Liu holds an important position in a key government department, and the one who made the allegation is a senior investigative reporter with a lot of credibility. This makes the confrontation between the two very significant.
The case may further expand the scale of Weibo's anti-graft efforts and generate public enthusiasm about Weibo's seemingly limitless potential. The public will keep a close eye on the results of this case. Recently, anti-corruption efforts through both the disciplinary authorities and Weibo have been reaching new heights. This is a rare and valuable situation.
The public is expecting more corrupt officials will be exposed. There's little chance that exposed officials will receive the slightest sympathy from the public. Their exposure will make all of society take notice, and this will provide society more benefit on its way toward becoming honest and open. It will be guided by the law rather than be driven by populism.
This round of anti-graft efforts will enhance the deterrent effect of the law, which has long been lacking in society. The consequences of corrupt behavior will be much more severe than previously expected. This is urgently needed in China's construction of clean politics in the future.
The public has an idealistic expectation of Weibo's role in anti-corruption work. It seems that public opinions on Weibo determine how a particular case will progress.
People on Weibo generally believe that most officials are corrupt. It is due to China's complexity that such misjudgments are made. Although China ranks low in the global clean politics index, the number of corrupt officials exposed and punished has been among the highest in recent years. It reflects the country's determination in its anti-corruption efforts.
It will be difficult to require all to be objective on Weibo. Weibo's relevance in terms of corruption is more significant than ever. It encourages people to be whistle-blowers in the campaign. Such exposure should be encouraged while society should be able to assess how reliable and accountable this information is.
The significance of fighting corruption has deeper meaning in China than it does in other countries. It is the key to China's political reform process.