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China paper blames poor upbringings for top-level graft

[BEIJING] Poor family upbringings are to blame for some of the most serious corruption cases facing China and officials should learn from the examples of heroic figures from the earliest days of Communist rule, a top paper said on Monday.

President Xi Jinping has embarked on a sweeping campaign against deep-seated graft since taking office two years ago, vowing to take down powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Two of the most senior figures caught so far are the powerful former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang and Ling Jihua, who was an aide to Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao.

The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, wrote in a commentary that those two cases showed the"special characteristic" of there being a general problem of corruption in their families. "It was exactly because upbringings were not rigorous and the family style was unhealthy that allowed their homes to become exchanges of power and money, converting their families into a community of (special) interests," it said.

Those following the old Chinese maxim of everyone in the family taking advantage of the promotion of one member to enrich themselves would find that the upshot was they would "all suffer together in jail", the newspaper said.

A person's upbringing was crucial to their future morals, it said, pointing to the fine examples set by people like Chen Yun, a contemporary of Mao Zedong and one of Communist China's most senior figures in the austere early years.

Chen had very strict requirements for his children and led by example, making sure he always finished food set before him and ensuring water was not wasted, the newspaper said.