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Xi calls for continuous efforts against corruption

By XU WEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-20 07:09
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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has pledged to continue with a zero-tolerance attitude toward corruption, while reiterating the need to create deterrents, strengthen the institutional constraints and build up moral defenses among officials.

He made the remarks on Friday while addressing a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee-the Party's core leadership-on improving anti-corruption capability.

The fight against corruption is the most important political issue that concerns the people's trust and support, and it is a battle that the CPC cannot afford to lose and should never lose, he said.

He underlined the significance of improving the institution and system that restricts power and officials, saying that the nation must come up with more regularized and long-term solutions to prevent and tackle corruption.

He summarized valuable experiences from the fight, including zero-tolerance for corruption, improved institutional constraints, and the expansion of supervision over every Party member and everyone in public office.

The CPC has been engaged in its most forceful anti-graft campaign since its 18th National Congress in November 2012, when Xi was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

According to the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, anti-graft bodies nationwide investigated over 4 million cases between November 2012 and October 2021, in which 4.37 million officials, including 484 senior officials, were held accountable for their wrongdoing.

Xi said the Party, through its unprecedented fight against corruption, has won the historic initiative to maintain its close ties with the people and win their support.

He compared the anti-graft fight to a fight against pathogens that could weaken the Party's advanced nature and damage its purity, saying the fight is extremely complex and difficult, and that the Party cannot afford to make any compromise.

He warned the Party that the stubborn nature and the harm of corruption cannot be underestimated, and that the anti-graft fight must be seen through.

The centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee must be strengthened, and the Party's political, organizational and institutional strength should be carried forward, he said.

He underlined the need to gradually phase out recurring problems and prevent new problems from spreading, saying that the Party must take firm action to remove both high- and low-ranking corrupt officials and hunt down those who fled overseas.

It is important to focus on key areas and sectors, resolutely investigate corruption that spreads through sectors or systemic corruption and effectively prevent and defuse risks that are associated with corrupt behavior, he said.

Xi said more work must be done to reduce chances for officials to engage in corruption, including steps to focus on departments that are responsible for policymaking, approval, supervision and law enforcement and clarify their duties and work procedures.

It is imperative to strengthen the restriction of powers and prevent improper administrative intervention over micro economic activities, he said.

The Party and the nation must move forward with the reform in its supervisory mechanism, promote the integration of various supervisory forces and exercise more wide-ranging and effective oversight to prevent the abuse of power, he said.

Xi urged senior officials to exercise strict discipline over themselves, their family members, relatives and staff workers, saying that the more high-ranking and more powerful they are, the more self-disciplined they must be.

Ma Liang, a professor of public administration at Renmin University of China, said Xi has signaled that the Party will seek to institutionalize its anti-graft campaign over the past decade and that the anti-graft efforts will remain unrelenting.

Wang Feng, an associate professor at the School of Marxism of Beijing Normal University, said excising strict governance over the Party has been one of the most distinctive features of Xi's governance over the past decade.

"In drawing on experience from the past decade, the Party can come up with a fundamental solution to corruption by further refining its institution for restricting power and officials," he said.

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