CPC 6th plenary session to consolidate anti-graft drive

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/12 0:48:39

The Communist Party of China (CPC) will institutionalize its war against corruption and develop strategies to crush some officials' alleged "passive resistance" to the campaign at a plenary meeting later this month.

The sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, set to be held from October 24 to 27, will discuss two documents on Party discipline and intra-Party supervision.

The agenda falls within the Party's tradition that ideological frameworks and Party construction are usually discussed at the sixth meeting, but this month's plenary session will be of particular importance as the anti-corruption drive will be further consolidated and will impact the Party's political life for the next central committee,  experts said.

While Chinese people have welcomed the sweeping anti-corruption drive launched since Xi Jinping became the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in 2012, many officials, who believed their interests were deprived by the campaign but dared not oppose the Central Committee openly, have resisted the campaign with slack work styles, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "Such acts are passive resistance."

Many officials miss the unspoken or "hidden" rules because their motivation to work is the benefits they can accrue outside their legal income, wrote Ding Xueliang, a professor of University of Science and Technology Hong Kong, in an article published on news portal aisixiang.com in 2015.

The reform has not reduced their legal income but the means by which they receive illegal benefits, so they will surely lose their motivation to work, Ding added.

A commentary in the People's Daily also warned of passive resistance in February.

It is mainly because the country's top leaders cannot put up with this passive resistance any longer that the State-run media in China attacked the problem, Ding said.

These slack officials imagine that the reform and anti-corruption campaigns are temporary, Su said. "They might believe that the next administration will not continue such a tough, strict anti-corruption drive, so they decided to do nothing while avoiding touching the red line by making no mistakes - just be lazy and wait for the return of the old hidden rules."

The plenum in Beijing will include the delivery of a work report to the CPC Central Committee by the Political Bureau, a review of key issues concerning the comprehensive and strict management of the Party, writing the norms of intra-Party political life under the new situation and a revision to an intra-Party supervision regulation, according to a statement released by the Political Bureau in July.

The statement demonstrates that intensifying Party discipline is not a temporary campaign but will be institutionalized with detailed and practical regulations, Xu Xing, a professor of politics at the Zhou Enlai School of Government at Nankai University told the Global Times.

The Party's discipline, characterized as democratic centralism, serves as a key weapon to fight corruption. "When it's weakened, then the 'hidden rules' come to the fore," Su said.

"All the problems such as corruption, arbitrary decision-making without listening to public opinion and establishing cliques within the Party will reappear," he noted.

The sixth plenary session will also clarify regulations on eliminating lazy officials from the Party, Su said, noting that it sends a strong and clear warning to those passive resistant officials to not expect the hidden rules to return in the future.

"Democratic centralism poses considerable demands on high-ranking officials and Party members. But it's still a challenge to ensure they observe democratic centralism," Su said.

According to The Beijing News, the sixth plenary session might formally announce the Party's punishment on corrupt Central Committee members, including Su Shulin, former governor of East China's Fujian Province, former Liaoning provincial Communist Party chief Wang Min, former political commissar of the PLA air force Tian Xiusi and former mayor of Tianjin Huang Xingguo.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, 10 Central Committee members have been investigated and six have had their punishments announced, The Beijing News reported.

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