S. M. Hali
Xi Jinping, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party, who had promised to come down hard on corruption, has launched an anti graft campaign to make good his promise.
Expressing “Zero-Tolerance” for sleaze, graft and corruption, the Communist Party’s anti-graft agency has organized a three-day plenum. The three-day, closed-door Central Commission for Discipline Inspection plenum comes after a meeting of the 25-member Politburo late last month, which saw top leaders vow to stand firm in the fight against corruption. The Politburo also said it would not tolerate cadres forming political factions for personal business
Moving beyond rhetoric, President Xi Jinping has been working on a crackdown on political factions and syndicated corruption in local governments and particular industries ever since he came into power.
The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, headed by Politburo Standing Committee member and key Xi ally Wang Qishan, has played a central role in this campaign, in which hundreds of officials across the nation have been investigated and prosecuted. Beijing embarked on a wide-reaching campaign two years ago to root out graft among party, government, military and state-owned company officials.
The CPC aims at targeting both the “tigers” and the “flies” (senior and lower ranking government officials and Party members), with regard to the current anti graft campaign.
According to the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection, the Party’s watchdog, since the announcement of the anti-corruption campaign a year ago, 182,000 officials were punished for disciplinary violations in 2013. Lavish banquets, luxury gifts, and expensive weddings and funerals are strictly banned among Party members.
The year 2014 had witnessed graft investigations into several leading figures, including Zhou Yongkang, the former security tsar, Ling Jihua, ex-presidential aide, retired General Xu Caihou, who was vice-chairman of Central Military Commission, and Su Rong, former deputy head of the national political advisory body.
Dozens of senior ministerial and provincial officials have fallen, as well as retired top cadres like former domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang and former general Xu Caihou Two women officials from Shanxi province were sacked for alleged graft and adultery, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said. It is rare for the party’s top anti-corruption agency to openly accuse female cadres of sexual misconduct.
One of the officials, Zhang Xiuping , 49, was a deputy party secretary in Jinzhong and served as a deputy secretary general for the provincial anti-graft agency for more than a decade. The other woman to be sacked was Yang Xiaobo , 43, a deputy party secretary for Gaoping .
Separately, Fang Guoxing , deputy general manager of China Kweichow Moutai Winery (Group), has been placed under investigation for corruption by the anti-graft agency.
A number of steps have been taken to cement the anti graft campaign. A compilation of select remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the fight against corruption and the construction of a clean CPC has been published. A circular issued jointly by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the CPC’s discipline agency asked Party officials to take the essence of the remarks to heart and behave in line with the decisions so as to ensure an effective counter-corruption drive.
Additionally, President Xi will require the support of the old guard of the CPC to ensure success of the anti graft campaign.
President Xi needs to watch out for dissension because his hard-line measures to weed out corruption could possibly cause internal division within the Party. Secondly, he cannot fundamentally uproot corruption without changing the legal system and mobilizing the civil society. Efforts in this regard have been made by announcing the concept of accountability and comprehensive rule of law enacted by the CPC to protect the Chinese people in accordance with the law and constitution.
Meanwhile western critics have been commenting negatively on the herculean task undertaken by President Xi. A few opine that only the “flies” have been targeted, letting the “tigers” go scot free. The names mentioned above are all of senior cadre and belie this unwarranted criticism. Some critics liken it to Mao’s “cultural revolution” but they forget that times have changed and PRC today enjoys greater democracy and the checks and balances within the CPC will strengthen President Xi’s endeavour to root out graft rather than weaken his position.
Oct 24, 2016 0
Oct 24, 2016 0
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily