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Top anti-corruption group meeting stresses zero tolerance for graft

Discipline inspection work significant for ‘a clean political environment’

2022/1/19 13:51:03   source:Global Times

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday called for rigorous and unswerving efforts in further promoting full and strict Party governance and vowed zero tolerance on corruption at the 6th plenary session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) which opened in Beijing on Tuesday.

Analysts said that in 2022, a year politically significant to the CPC and China as the 20th National Congress of the CPC will be held, the Party needs to keep strengthening its efforts in anti-corruption, to consolidate existing achievements, and ensure a clean and stable political environment for the country.

Xi, also Chinese President and chairman of the Central Military Commission, vowed to maintain a zero-tolerance stance on corruption while addressing the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), China's top anti-graft body, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has improved Party conduct, upheld integrity and combated corruption with unprecedented courage and resolve, Xi said.

"Certain unhealthy tendencies that hadn't been curbed for a long time have been reined in, many problems that had long plagued us have been remedied, and serious potential dangers in the Party, the country and the military have been rooted out," Xi said.

The problem of lax and weak governance over Party organizations has been addressed at the fundamental level, and a successful path to breaking the historical cycle of rise and fall has been blazed through the Party's self-reform, Xi noted.

Xi called for maintaining political resolve in fighting corruption and realizing the strategic goal of not daring to, not being able to and not wanting to be corrupt.

Continuous efforts must be made to address corruption and misconduct that affect people's immediate interests, to let people feel fairness and justice, Xi stressed.

China Central Television has started broadcasting a 5-episode anti-graft documentary titled "Zero Tolerance" since Saturday, and many serious cases including the one about Sun Lijun, a former vice minister of public security have been revealed. The documentary has received extensive public attention and experts said the cases show that the anti-graft campaign requires consistent pressure and law enforcement, and more effective supervision.

The documentary also revealed that the problems among some senior officials and Party members are not only about corruption or crimes related to economy and finance, but their misconduct will also threaten the national and political security of the country, which will bring much more serious damage. So to strengthen the discipline inspection and national supervisory work is really a "matter of life and death."

Source of legitimacy

The anti-corruption campaign since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in the past 10 years has won great applause and support from the Chinese people.

According to a survey made by the Global Times to Chinese generation Z in December 2021, while asking what critical issues that happened in China over the past one or two decades have changed your view of "democracy," or in other words, "what make you start to believe that the CPC's political system performs better than the Western political system?" 40.7 percent of the interviewees picked "the CPC's long-standing and effective anti-corruption campaign following the 18th National Congress of the CPC." The option is the second most popular one as the top one is China's successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic (78.7 percent).

The CPC didn't ease its pressure on cracking down on corruption. According to data released on Tuesday by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the National Supervisory Commission (NSC), in the first three quarters of 2021, the CCDI and NSC have registered more than 470,000 cases and sanctioned more than 414,000 officials, and 22 of them were at ministerial and provincial level.

Over the past decade, more than 900,000 members have been expelled from the Party. More than 400 officials registered at and supervised by the CPC Central Committee have been removed from office, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

The 20th National Congress of the CPC will be held in the second half of 2022, and it's also the first year of the second centennial goal of building the nation into a great modern socialist country.

At such a historic juncture, whether the CPC can maintain self-discipline and its purity, and whether Party officials can stay honest and remain dedicated to those missions, is "the lifeline" for the Party's effective and continuous ruling status, and it's significant for the CPC to keep leading the country to achieve more and greater goals, Zhi Zhenfeng, a research fellow with the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the anti-graft campaign has made notable achievements and the intense anti-graft campaign did not ease after the 19th National Congress of the CPC, showing the Party's resolve to deal with the problem. The frequent signals sent by the top supervisory body as well as the emergence of "tigers" and "flies" highlighted the necessity to continue the strict anti-graft measures, Zhi said.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday the fast changing and complex domestic and international situations require the Party to maintain and enhance its governance capability and credibility.

Anti-graft is key for the Party to keep self-improvement and only a strong and pure Party can lead the way to achieve socialist modernization by 2035, realize the second centennial goal and national rejuvenation, Zhu said.

According to CCDI and NSC data, from January to October 2021, CCDI and NSC agencies across the country have detected and corrected more than 247,000 cases about "inexertion in implementing key instructions from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and significant decision-making and deployments made by the CPC Central Committee."

Analysts said that keeping the whole Party and all officials in the government disciplined and united is also the key work of the CCDI and NSC, as this is a matter of the political authoritativeness of the CPC Central Committee and maintaining the close bondsbetween the people and the Party, because if the correct decisions made by the top leadership didn't get implemented well among the lower levels, those problems in society won't be healed and solved, and if the implementation goes wrong, and the people get harmed, the disapproval sentiment will rise and turn against the Party.

So keeping the whole Party united and disciplined to ensure the thorough implementation of the decisions and instructions from the top leadership, is extremely important for the CPC to shape a stable, clean and healthy political environment and atmosphere to ensure that the 20th National Congress of the CPC is held successfully, experts said.

Future efforts

In the future, in order to strengthen and modernize the strategy and tactics in fighting corruption, experts noted that supervision from the public would be important.

Zhi also suggested engaging society more and having public opinion play a part in the supervision in addition to the current anti-graft mechanism.

"As long as the policymaking and decision-making don't involve national secrets and classified information, they should be as transparent as possible to receive public supervision and to prevent corruption from the beginning," Zhi said.

According to data released by the CCDI and NSC, from January to November in 2021, more than 130,000 cases related to "the corruption and working style problems around the people" were handled, and the CCDI and NSC received more than 116,000 recommendations from ordinary people.

From January to September 2021, the CCDI and NSC received more than 2.84 million petition letters and reports about corruption and other undisciplined cases, according to the data. 

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