Xi Focus: Xi's uncompromising fight against corruption -Xinhua

Xi Focus: Xi's uncompromising fight against corruption

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-10 20:37:30

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Typically, after New Year's Day and leading up to Spring Festival, the Communist Party of China's (CPC) top disciplinary agency convenes a plenary session, setting out its anti-corruption priorities for the year ahead.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, views corruption as a "cancer threatening the vitality and ability" of the world's largest Marxist governing party. Accordingly, the fight against corruption is a major political struggle that the Party cannot and must not lose.

Since assuming the Party's top post in November 2012, Xi has delivered important speeches at multiple plenary sessions of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), outlining strategic plans and initiating concrete measures for the ongoing battle against corruption.

Under his leadership, an overwhelming victory has been achieved in the fight against corruption, with the gains fully consolidated. The persistent anti-corruption efforts over the past 10 years of the new era have helped remove serious hidden dangers in the Party, the country, and the military, and ensured that the power granted by the Party and the people is always exercised in the interests of the people.

Addressing the third plenary session of the 20th CPC CCDI on Monday, Xi highlighted the importance of maintaining a tough stance against corruption, stressing that in the continued grave and complex situation, there is no possibility of stopping, slackening or compromising the anti-corruption campaign.


Just 15 days after the conclusion of the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012, Xi introduced a vision to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, known as "the Chinese Dream." This aspiration represents the Chinese nation's most profound dream in modern history, and the CPC bears a considerable weight of responsibility in this regard.

At that time, the whole Party was confronted with increasingly grave dangers such as a lack of motivation, incompetence, being out of touch with the people, corruption and other misconduct. Among these issues, corruption posed the most significant threat.

Xi was fully aware of the realities of the situation. In his view, "if corruption is allowed to spread, it will eventually lead to the destruction of a party and the fall of a government." Such conditions meant that goals for the new era would be barely conceivable, let alone attainable.

Less than 20 days after assuming the Party's top position, Xi spearheaded the formulation of the central Party leadership's eight-point decision on improving conduct. This move effectively put an end to undesirable practices, such as excessive feasting, extravagant spending, and other forms of wasteful behavior.

Shortly after this initiative, Li Chuncheng, former deputy secretary of the CPC Sichuan provincial committee, came under investigation for corruption, hailed by many as the start of an unprecedented battle against corruption.

Over the ensuing decade, corrupt officials were punished, ranging from high-ranking figures like Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Sun Zhengcai and Ling Jihua, to leading officials of ministries, state-owned enterprises, and key officials at the provincial and municipal levels, as well as low-ranking officials at the county and township levels.

Purported "unspoken political norms" including "powerful individuals exempted from legal consequences," as depicted by some Western media, have been consistently debunked through the concrete actions of the Party.

China's sweeping fight against corruption has targeted every sector, including the military. Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou stood out as the most significant "military tigers" to fall in the fight against corruption.

Following the 20th CPC National Congress in 2022, China's anti-corruption efforts have shown no signs of deceleration. In the first three quarters of 2023, discipline inspection and supervision agencies nationwide investigated 54 officials registered at and supervised by the CPC Central Committee, along with 2,480 officials at the department and bureau level and 20,000 at county and division level.

The war against corruption of such a scale could come with formidable challenges and risks. "We have weighed the consequences. However, we are unwavering in our commitment to the Party's mission and purpose, as well as meeting the expectations of the people," Xi said.


During the "two sessions" in 2022, Cui Ronghai, a veteran CPC member from Zhenjiang City in Jiangsu, reached out to a local lawmaker to convey a message to Xi, expressing support for the country's anti-graft drive.

Cui made this request because of a brief encounter with Xi during an inspection visit to Cui's village in 2014. Cui, who has been a Party member for over 50 years, squeezed through the crowd to shake hands with Xi, saying, "corrupt officials are all afraid of you. You bring good fortune to the people."

Responding with a smile, Xi said, "I won't let down the expectations of the people." It was during this trip to Jiangsu that he first introduced the concept of exercising full and rigorous Party self-governance.

Xi's strong determination to fight corruption with a firm hand stretches back to the early days of his political career.

Over 30 years ago, Xi, then Party chief of Ningde Prefecture in Fujian, discovered that thousands of officials in Ningde were illegally using land to construct private homes. There would be no way to address these violations without offending individuals.

Xi made his choice: "To determine who offends whom is the question at hand. If you break rules and laws, seize land and construct houses for personal gains, undermining the Party's authority and image, then you are offending the Party, the people, and violating Party discipline and national laws. It's not the investigating officials representing the Party and the people who are offending you."

During the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC CCDI in January 2016, Xi offered clarification, stressing the Party's fight against corruption is nondiscriminatory, persistent, and not driven by a power struggle.

"The strong measures we have taken and the zero-tolerance approach we have adopted aim to win the support of our Party members and the public," Xi once said.

When giving a written interview to the Wall Street Journal in September 2015, Xi said the ultimate purpose of the CPC is to serve the people wholeheartedly. The CPC owes its governing status to the support of the people, therefore, it must maintain its flesh-and-blood relations with the people.

"The CPC does not operate in a vacuum, so it has unavoidably found itself with problems of one kind or another. Corruption is such a persistent one," he told the Wall Street Journal. He went on to say that the people hated corruption more than anything else, and action was needed to allay their concerns.

Misconduct and corruption on people's doorsteps are the most strongly felt and despised.

With the people in mind, Xi, while wielding a heavy hand against high-ranking corrupt officials, has also demanded severe punishment for corruption at the grassroots level. This enables the people to truly perceive the Party's original aspiration and mission in exercising full and rigorous self-governance.

In a recent case, Yang Shengyi, the former Party chief and villagers' committee head of Bahui Village in Sandu Shui Autonomous County, Guizhou Province, southwest China, was expelled from the CPC and removed from the post in accordance with due procedures for offenses including fraudulently obtaining project funds and distributing the proceeds.

The 20th CPC National Congress drew up a blueprint for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. "As long as breeding grounds and conditions for corruption still exist, we must keep sounding the bugle and never rest, not even for a minute, in our fight against corruption," the report to the 20th CPC National Congress reads.


On the anti-corruption campaign, Xi has pointed out that since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has maintained its resolve and exercised full and rigorous self-governance in the spirit of "spending 10 years grinding a sword."

Driven by a strong sense of mission, we have resolved to "offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion" and waged an unprecedented battle against corruption, thus, forging a synergy in the Party's self-reform, said Xi.

Xi said discipline inspection is a strategic institutional process for scrutiny within the Party.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party Central Committee has continuously deepened political inspections, made full use of effective experience, and successively launched and coordinated multiple methods such as regular inspections, special inspections, mobile inspections, and inspection reviews.

In recent years, such inspections have uncovered a significant portion of problems associated with officials that later were put under investigation. For example, the misconduct of senior official Su Rong surfaced during an inspection, and several other high-ranking officials fell during inspection reviews.

In the anti-corruption campaign, Xi always uses plain language to communicate with the public. He has provided support and encouragement to members of the central inspection teams, stressing that "no matter how high the rank, anyone who violates the law must be held accountable and dealt with. I believe the sky will not fall." He repeatedly emphasizes the need to strike at the "tigers" as soon as they reveal themselves and to swat away the "flies" that are causing chaos.

The report he delivered at the 19th CPC National Congress changed one word of the previous saying, "One should be very strong if he wants to forge iron," into "One must be very strong if he wants to forge iron."

Xi attaches great importance to anti-corruption institutional building. He made two remarks that later had been repeatedly cited. The first is that we must keep power in the cage of systemic checks. The other is that transparency is the best precaution against corruption.

A raft of regulations on Party discipline have been issued since the 18th CPC National Congress, including the Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life under New Circumstances, the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight, the regulations on the work of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and the guidelines on advancing simultaneous investigations on bribe-taking and bribe-giving.

The CPC Central Committee has, under the guidance of the rule of law, made unremitting efforts to improve conduct, enforce discipline, combat corruption, consolidate mechanism-building as a cage to contain powers, and constrain abuse of power.

The reform of the national supervision system is a milestone in the Party's anti-corruption campaign. In March 2018, the Supervision Law was adopted at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress, the national legislature. In the same month, a network of supervisory commissions at the national, provincial, prefectural, and county levels was completed.

The brand-new anti-corruption institution where discipline inspection and supervisory bodies work together as one office while keeping separate identities has ensured that the supervision covers everyone working in the public sector.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has included the institution of strictly implementing the reporting of relevant personal matters of officials and cadres into the strategic arrangement for full and rigorous Party self-governance. This has contributed to solid progress in the governance of the Party and officials.

On Monday, Xi underscored the need to improve the legal system that fights corruption, urging continuous promotion of national anti-graft legislation and amendments to the Supervision Law in pace with the times.

International fugitive repatriation and asset recovery marks a new battlefield in the fight against corruption in the new era. Xi has pointed out that corrupt fugitives are bound to be pursued and brought to justice even if they have fled to the remotest corners of the globe. Regardless of how long it might take, be it five, 10, or even 20 years, we are determined to cut off any escape route for those corrupt individuals, he stressed.

New achievements have been made in international anti-corruption cooperation. These include the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, adopted at the APEC meetings in Beijing in 2014, and the G20 High-Level Principles on Cooperation on Persons Sought for Corruption and Asset Recovery, passed at the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016.

Efforts to establish the fugitive repatriation and asset recovery mechanism under the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group, release the list of "Red Notice" fugitives, and publicize the information about the fugitives have shattered the illusion of corrupt individuals finding a safe haven in foreign lands.

Xi has required officials to value family virtues. While ensuring personal integrity, strict requirements should also be placed on their spouses, children, and close associates. "The deterioration of family virtues often becomes a significant factor leading to serious disciplinary and legal violations among officials," he noted.

"To address both the symptoms and root causes of corruption, we will advance national anti-corruption legislation and promote a culture of integrity in the new era," reads the report delivered by Xi to the 20th CPC National Congress, adding that the goal is to continually secure more institutional achievements and greater efficiency in fighting corruption.

Through painstaking efforts, the Party has found a second answer to the question of how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall: self-reform. Placing the government under the supervision of the people is the first answer.

The problem of lax and weak self-governance in Party organizations has been addressed at the root, and a political atmosphere of integrity within the Party has been steadily fostered and developed. By doing so, it has been ensured that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.