China media: 'Zero tolerance' policy

Premier Li Keqiang has promised to take a tough stand on corruption Premier Li Keqiang has promised to take a tough stand on corruption

Premier Li Keqiang's statement about "zero tolerance" on corruption and the ongoing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane dominate headlines in China.

Mr Li, during a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, said that his government will have a "zero tolerance" policy on corruption.

"Everyone is equal in front of the law. If anyone breaches the code of the party or the laws of the country, then they must strictly be punished according to the law," The People's Daily quotes Mr Li as saying.

Mr Li's press conference was held after the National People's Congress (NPC) - China's top legislative body - concluded its annual session on Thursday.

The Beijing Times backs Mr Li's open approach in taking questions on "important issues".

"Whether it is saying bluntly that 'housing is a big issue', or [China] 'cannot wait for wind and wish for rain' in its declaration of war on smog; whether it is saying the number of rural, poor students attending focus schools should be boosted by 10%, or saying energy consumption must be reduced by 3.9%, Mr Li showed he was at ease when answering these questions," it adds.

The Xinhua News Agency highlights Mr Li's pledge of tackling China's pollution problem with an "iron fist".

"'Iron fist' and 'iron rules' - these two strong words have showed the strength and determination of this administration's attitude in tackling pollution: sparing no effort in protecting the environment according to the law," it says.

The Beijing News sees the government's GDP growth target of 7.5% as being "closer to the masses".

The paper adds that "the motive and the aim of economic growth should be about improving the lives of the peopleā€¦ Only a GDP that is closer to the masses is a GDP that the public truly need".

The People's Daily highlights the importance of the rule of law in China's path towards reforms.

"The requirement on the NPC's work has been raised with the demand that major reforms are conducted soundly and legally," it says.

The NPC has accepted motions on reforms in banking, governance and judicial systems of the country.

Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, however, says it is too early to judge the party's promises, as the new generation of Chinese leaders are still enjoying their "honeymoon period" in government.

'Glimmer of hope'

Moving on to reports about the missing Malaysian plane, media outlets are giving prominent coverage to Mr Li's statement that China will not give up looking for the aircraft "as long as there was a glimmer of hope".

Relatives of passengers on flight MH370 are still anxiously waiting for information Relatives of passengers on flight MH370 are still anxiously waiting for information

The plane was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Saturday when it went missing. There were 239 people, mostly Chinese nationals, on board.

Media outlets in China have been persistent in their criticism of Malaysia's "poor" efforts in locating the plane since Sunday.

On Friday, however, the media's criticism appears to be relatively less scathing - largely due to their focus on the NPC.

An editorial in the Chinese edition of the Global Times calls for restraint in comments about the search operation.

"External public opinion should show restraint. After all, a massive search operation is still underway, and its importance overrides everything else," it says.

A commentary in the Beijing Times blames the lack of coordination on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and says a system should be set up between South-east Asian countries to better co-ordinate similar search and rescue operations in the future.

"[The Malaysia Airline incident] has shown that even if there is presently a lack of security trust, international cooperation should be deepened for humanitarian reasons," it says.

Finally, several staff members from two kindergartens in the central city of Xian have been arrested for illegally giving prescription drugs to children, local media reports say.

Hong Kong-based Ming Pao Daily reports that the drugs were anti-viral pills usually given to adults and showed side-effects on children.

Angry parents staged a protest after the news broke in the local media. Some of the parents were holding a banner that read: "I have only one child at home and you are feeding him illegal drugs."

The Xinhua News Agency reports that the pills were allegedly given to the students to boost their attendance and hence increase the school's revenue.

It adds that local government departments have formed a working group to investigate the matter.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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