Stung by graft case, officials of Chinese province promise to behave

BEIJING - Top officials in a key northern Chinese province have taken the unusual step of issuing a public promise not to engage in corrupt practices like taking bribes, after the top man there was felled in a graft probe.

Zhou Benshun had been Communist Party chief in Hebei province - which surrounds capital city Beijing and is China's most important steel producer - until he was accused of corruption earlier this year and sacked.

Zhou had previously worked with China's disgraced one-time domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who was jailed for life in June after a secret trial in China's most sensational graft scandal in 70 years. The two are not related.

On Wednesday, the provincial party's Standing Committee, Hebei's ruling body, issued a list of 10 public promises it was making to officials and the public about how they intended to"transform their work styles".

"(We will) correctly use power, cautiously use power and cleanly use power," reads the statement, carried on the provincial government's website. "(We will) not promise high posts and other favours, and not practice nepotism."

They are also vowing not to interfere in legal cases, tenders for construction projects or mining permits, all sources of potential corruption.

"(We will) resolutely refuse all cash, securities and other payments, not enter private clubs, not attend entertainment or gym activities paid for with public funds," it said.