SHANGHAI -- China must
tackle corruption and ensure that its growing wealth is shared fairly among all
its citizens, President Hu Jintao said in a major speech to Communist Party
leaders setting the tone for a key meeting this fall.
Hu emphasized a 2020 target for achieving a "basically well-off society," a
key motif of his nearly five years as head of state and chairman of the
"This is where the interests of all the nation's ethnic groups lie and this
is what we must strive for unremittingly," Hu said in the speech to the party's
Central Party School.
The speech was attended by the full membership of the party's Central
Committee, leaders of the military and security services, representatives of all
cities, provinces and regions and the heads of top government organizations.
Hu lashed out at endemic corruption, telling party cadres to put the fight
against graft in an "even more prominent position."
"Party committees at all levels must fully recognize the long-term nature,
difficulty, and complexity of the struggle against corruption," Hu said.
A number of prominent officials have been ousted in corruption scandals in
the past year.
At that gathering, Hu is expected to install allies, push rivals aside and
lay out priorities for another half-decade in power.
Hu and fellow leaders have sought to shore up broad public support by
promoting improved social services, environmental protection and greater social
equity after three decades of reforms that have left behind many of China's 1.3
Rapid economic growth must continue, but should also bring higher value,
protect the environment, and benefit "the basic interests of the broadest
masses," Hu said.
Hu said the party should focus on key concerns such as education and
employment, along with the construction of a social security net and basic
health care system for the roughly 800 million rural residents.
"The reform of our nation's political system must maintain a correct
political direction, must unrelentingly keep pace with economic and social
development, and must endeavor to unceasingly adjust to the active political
participation of our nation's people," Hu said.