The Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday vowed to deal with unqualified Party members in a timely fashion and keep the Party at a "proper size" during a meeting focusing on the optimization of its membership.
While hailing the achievements and contributions the Party members had made in fulfilling major tasks, the meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, presided over by General Secretary Xi Jinping, stressed the unreasonable membership structure and some members' degenerate thoughts as the main problems hampering the management of the 83-million-strong organization.
Cai Xia, a professor of Party building with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times that the meeting showed that the Party leadership has fully realized the problems existing among Party members and its determination to administer the Party strictly.
"High-quality Party members are the key to keeping the Party's progressiveness and purity as well as the key force that pushes forward its cause as a whole," she said.
A few Party members are "corrupt and degenerate," and their faith has wavered, the Party leaders warned at the meeting, saying these members have weak understanding of the Party's tenets and have not followed its discipline, which have affected the Party's vigor and vitality, as well as its image and prestige among the public.
The leaders pledged that unqualified Party members would be "handled" in a timely manner, quickly drawing high expectations from the public. The pledge also came at a time when a surge of corruption cases among Party members holding key posts was revealed by Web users.
Yi Junqing, former director of the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, a vice-ministerial-level official, was recently removed from his post for his "improper lifestyle," but has yet to be expelled from the Party.
To optimize the membership structure, the leadership will keep the Party at a proper size by "controlling the overall number while improving the quality of the members."
Cai Zhiqiang, a professor of Party building with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the CPC's large size had inevitably brought many management challenges for the Party, considering the increasingly complicated domestic and international situations and diversified values and interests in the new era.
He suggested that the admission threshold be raised as a basic solution. In an article published in the Party-run Qiushi magazine in March 2012, Xi said the motives of applicants should be carefully analyzed before approval to guarantee the quality of Party members.
"The punishment of unqualified members should also be strictly in line with the Party regulations," said Cai Zhiqiang. In May 2012, 102 Party members were expelled for poor work performances or violations of family planning policy. The cleanout was regarded as a landmark example of Party membership adjustment.
Xinhua contributed to this story