Xi doubles down on corruption fight

By Yang Jingjie Source:Global Times Published: 2012-11-20 0:45:00

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has once again warned senior Party leaders against corruption, vowing to punish offenders with the utmost severity.

According to a report released by the Xinhua News Agency Monday, Xi made the remarks in a speech to the newly elected 25-member Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Saturday during a meeting to review the 18th CPC National Congress concluded last week.

Xi devoted much of his time to discussing the building of clean governance, citing lessons from foreign countries.

"In recent years, some countries have witnessed popular anger, social unrest and regime changes as a result of accumulated disputes. Graft and corruption were major causes of the disputes," said Xi. "Many facts have proven that the intensifying problem of corruption would finally cause the collapse of the Party and the fall of the state. We must be alert."

Xi acknowledged that serious disciplinary and law violations within the Party in recent years had led to "extremely bad political impacts," asking Party officials to exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen supervision over their families and staff.

In the past five years, more than 668,000 Party members have been punished for disciplinary violations. High-level officials, including former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai, former railway minister Liu Zhijun and former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng, were among those caught in corruption scandals.

Lin Zhe, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Monday that the CPC listed corruption as a life-and-death problem for the Party as early as 1997, but more should be done to introduce a top-down approach to tackling the issue.

"High-level Party leaders should set an example to pursue clean governance. Because it's their actions that will be followed by their subordinates," said Lin, adding that asset disclosures by senior leaders could be a breakthrough in the push for clean governance.

During the speech, Xi also elaborated on the development of "socialism with Chinese characteristics," noting that the Party should "resolutely resist various false theories that aim to ditch socialism, and voluntarily correct erroneous ideas and policies that don't suit the development stage of China."

Li Junru, former vice president of the Party School, told the Global Times that the remarks were primarily directed against some slogans, which aimed too high for the realities in China.

"Take fairness and justice for example, currently it's only pragmatic to pursue equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all as stipulated in the report to the 18th Party congress. However, it is unrealistic to expect fairness as an outcome given that China is still at the primary stage of socialism," said Li.

Xi stressed that Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought mustn't be deserted, adding that "ditching them would cause a loss of fundamentals."

Huang Weiping, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Politics Research at Shenzhen University, echoed that dropping Mao Zedong thought would be equal to denying the CPC itself.

However, Huang said that the socialistic path China has embarked on is different from any other models given by existing political theories.

"It's a practical road that China has been exploring," said Huang. "As long as we successfully move on, it will be socialism with Chinese characteristics."

Xi also highlighted common prosperity in the speech, saying the fruits of development must be shared by all the people in a fair way.

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