CPC denounces member ‘cliques’

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-17 1:08:01

Officials urged to toe Party line after collapse of factions

Members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have been warned to stay in line with the CPC Central Committee as the Party acknowledges the damage caused by factionalism following the uprooting of several political cliques over the past few years.

Party members should behave themselves, learn from the collapse of "cliques," and increase their awareness of standing in line with the Party, said an article published in the China Discipline Inspection Daily, a newspaper affiliated with the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

An earlier report by the Xinhua News Agency identified some cliques within the Party, including a faction comprised of secretaries of high-ranking officials, a clique of officials in the oil industry and a faction of officials based in North China's coal-rich Shanxi Province, which media dubbed as the "secretary clique," the "oil clique" and the "Shanxi clique," respectively.

Ling Jihua, the former head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee who was expelled from the Party and faced criminal prosecution for bribery in July, became part of the Shanxi clique after working in the province.

Ling had been secretly holding regular gatherings with a group of Shanxi officials and businessmen since 2007, the  China Economic Weekly reported in December 2014.

Another fallen official, China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang, was dubbed the "head of the oil clique" since he had worked in the State-run oil industry for many years.

The root of such cliques lies in the mindset that views power as a commodity to be traded for personal gains, said another article published in China Economic Weekly in January.

Xu Yaotong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times that the battle against factionalism plays a key role in the implementation of political discipline and rules inside the Party, endeavors highlighted by President Xi Jinping on many occasions.

Such cliques - which are ruled by people hunting for maximal political or economic gains - breed arbitrary actions and the abuse of power, Xu said.

He added that cliques can greatly damage Party discipline and the rule of law, as many of such groups' members are senior government or Party officials.

Meanwhile, Party organs across the nation were urged to stay in line with the central committee. Anhui Party chief Wang Xuejun and Shanghai Party chief Han Zheng have both made speeches that calls on officials to follow the committee's instructions.

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