CHINA / National

Anti-corruption drive a strategic task
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-01 05:32

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday called for the fight against corruption, which he said is "rampant in some fields," to be intensified.

Hu Jintao: Corruption rampant in some fields. [Xinhua]

"Anti-corruption and building a clean government are an important strategic mission. We cannot slack off for one moment," Hu said in a nationally televised speech at a grand rally to mark the 85th anniversary of the CPC.

Hu, also president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the strength of the Party is its vanguard character. He said the CPC must always keep and develop such a character to "consolidate its governing status and improve its governing capability."

All nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee attended the rally.

Hu called on the 70 million Party members to fully realize the importance of the anti-corruption drive.

Hu noted that there still exist some prominent problems that do not conform with the vanguard character of the CPC. Some Party members do not stand firmly for their political belief, some do not abide by the Party's discipline, and some grassroots Party organizations are weak.

"Cases of cadres abusing power for personal gains are frequently reported," Hu said.

He made the remark after former deputy commander of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Wang Shouye, was expelled on Thursday from China's top legislature on charges of economic crimes.

According to documents submitted to the National People's Congress, an unmarried young woman admitted to authorities that she had been keeping an "improper relationship" with Wang "for a long time."

Also on Thursday, a court opened in East China's Anhui Province to hear the case of former deputy head of the provincial finance department Kuang Bingwen and his son Kuang Zhongpin, who were charged with taking bribes of 861,000 yuan (US$107,600) and US$51,000, and embezzling public funds.

Last year, China's procurators investigated 8,490 government officials, including eight at the ministerial level.

China's courts convicted 1,932 government officials of graft, six of them ministerial-level officials.

Hu stressed that Party members should make painstaking efforts to combat corruption. They should fully realize that the campaign of maintaining the vanguard character of the Party is a long-term task of historic importance.

Hu said the campaign should be accompanied by implementing the scientific viewpoint of development, building a socialist harmonious society and enhancing the Party's governance capability.

The cadre selection system should be reformed to make the process more transparent and allow the public more say and a greater supervisory role.

Inner-Party supervision should be strengthened, Hu said, adding the Party welcomes supervision from the media and the masses.

"We should be alert against greedy desires, discipline our acts, resist money worship, hedonism and egoism," he said.

Keeping the vanguard character is integral to the success of the CPC, said Hu.

He urged Party members to always use their power for the people, care about the people and work to benefit the people.

"Hot issues and difficult issues facing the masses should always be made the emphasis of our work," said Hu.

Past experience has proven that in order to maintain its progressive nature, the Party must keep pace with the times, setting goals and implementing strategies in accordance with the reality and will of the people, he said.

The CPC Central Committee issued awards to outstanding grass-roots organizations of the Party and Party members at the rally.

People's Daily, the mouthpiece of CPC, publishes an editorial on Saturday, saying the Party's advanced nature will remain forever if it keeps pace with the times, and the Party's vitality will exist forever if it shares the future with the people.

Party now has 70.8 million members

Statistics from the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee show that China now has 70.8 million Party members.

Those under the age of 35 account for 23 per cent of the membership.

While almost 2.5 million people where allowed to join the CPC last year about a quarter of those who applied the number of college students joining the Party increased at more than double the overall rate to reach 734,000.

About 20 per cent of Tsinghua University's undergraduates have earned their CPC membership. The percentage for graduate students is 50 per cent.

Liu Minhua, a teacher in charge of the Party affairs of the Department of Automation in Tsinghua, said more young people are joining the Party as they see it as an organization that draws the best minds.

Liao Wang, president of the student union of Beijing University, said one of the reasons that students join the Party is to show they are among the best.

"Employers quite often recruit Party members from graduating classes, as they believe Party members are the top students," he added.

For a great many students, being a Party member isn't all about political thought. Party members among the student body also devote themselves to social work, Liu said. They often visit hospitals to care for the elderly, help clean up public places or memorials, or volunteer their time to China's Red Cross Society.

Liu said by participating in social work, the young people, most of whom come from single-child families and may have been a bit spoiled, begin to recognize their social responsibility and come to understand the Party's principle of serving the people.

(China Daily 07/01/2006 page1)