CPC vows to promote greater transparency

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/26 23:13:40

Disclosure of Party affairs should not affect security

The Communist Party of China (CPC) made public a regulation to promote transparency in Party affairs Monday, which experts say will help prevent the CPC from making unwise decisions and creating misunderstandings with the people they serve.

Transparency in Party affairs is "a great measure" for improving the Party's ability to govern and lead, said the CPC Central Committee in a statement, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Party organizations will now be required to disclose, to CPC members or to the public, Party affairs concerning their leadership and Party building in accordance with rules, said the regulation.

Party organizations' policies on economic and social development shall generally be made public, along with information about their functions and structure, the regulation stated.

"The regulation shows that the CPC wants to strengthen its governance capability by enhancing transparency and supervision by the people. This will effectively prevent rash policy making which may backfire," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Checks and balances

Previous documents on making public Party affairs mainly targeted local and grass-roots Party organizations, while the newly issued regulation includes requirements for central Party organizations. This shows the Party's increasing confidence and openness, Xinhua reported, quoting an unnamed official from the General Office of the CPC Central Committee.

"The CPC is the ruling party of a huge country, so a lack of transparency will damage its basis for ruling. In a modern society, people need to supervise the Party's governance and the Party's power needs to have checks and balances. The new regulation shows the CPC is changing its approach to governance," Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Local Party organizations will need to publicize plans for local economic and social development, major reform events, and their responses to major emergencies. The organizations also need to reveal how they are fulfilling their responsibility in the staging of major conferences, and announcing of official appointments and removals, the regulation states.

"Some local governments made some unwise decisions or rough policy executions this year that met with opposition from the public. In the future, if the Party's decisions or plans regarding people's livelihoods can be revealed before the government takes action, many unnecessary mistakes, misunderstanding and friction can be avoided," said Su.

Party committees at and above the county level and their discipline inspection organs are required to establish and improve the spokesperson system and hold regular press conferences to release Party affairs in a timely manner, said the regulation.

It also stipulated that Party organs for discipline inspection should publicize cases involving violations of discipline and the punishment of officials.

Confidentiality needed

However, transparency of the Party is not without limits.

While the regulation specifies what kinds of information should be released by the Party, it said that promoting transparency should not threaten political, economic, military, cultural, social, homeland security and the safety of the people.

"The disclosure of Party affairs is different from government and judicial affairs. The CPC is not a typical political party and its affairs, in many cases, are closely related to the security of the country which requires confidentiality, so the disclosure requirements need boundaries," Zhi told the Global Times.

"If any Party organization uses security concerns as an excuse to reduce transparency and hide Party affairs that have nothing to do with national security, the Party's discipline inspection organs will deal with it," Su said.

Posted in: POLITICS

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