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CPC issues document on ruling capacity
Updated: 2004-09-27 14:49

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Sunday published a major policy document on enhancing the Party's governance capability, stressing it is "a major strategic subject with a bearing on the success of China's socialist cause, the future and destiny of the Chinese nation, the life and death of the Party, as well as the lasting stability and prosperity of the country."

The 36-page CPC Central Committee Decision on the Enhancement of the Party's Governance Capability was adopted at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, held in Beijing from September 16 to 19.

The document says that China's reform and development has reached a critical stage in which new situations and new problems are mushrooming and "hostile forces are still pursuing their strategic attempts to westernize and separate our country."

It warns that the CPC's ruling status is by no means a natural result of the Party's founding, and will not remain forever if the Party does nothing to safeguard it.

"We must develop a stronger sense of crisis, draw experience and lessons from the success and failure of other ruling parties in the world, and enhance our governance capability in a more earnest and conscientious manner," it says.

Enhancing governance capability important, urgent

The CPC has conceded that it needs to enhance governance capability to consolidate its ruling status and meet domestic and global challenges.

"It was history and the people that chose our Party as the ruling party," says the document. "And it was to meet the requirements of the times and the people that the Party should enhance its governance capability."

The Party's governance capability refers to its ability to "put forth correct theories, guidelines, principles, policies and tactics, lead in the formulation and enforcement of the Constitution and laws, adopt a scientific system and mode of leadership, mobilize and organize the people to manage state and social affairs, economic and cultural undertakings according to law, effectively run the Party, the state and the military, and build a modernized socialist country," the document elaborates.

Stating that the CPC has scored remarkable achievements in leading the people in building a new China over the 55 years in power, the document concedes that the Party's mode of governance and leading mechanism are still "not perfect."

"Some leading cadres lack ideological and theoretical attainments, the ability to govern according to law and the competence to deal with complicated problems. Their quality and capability are not compatible with the requirements of implementing the important thought of Three Represents and building a relatively affluent society in an all-round way," says the document.

It adds that some leading Party members don't have a strong sense of responsibility, personal integrity, a down-to-earth style of work or a close connection with the general public; some Party organizations at the grassroots level are weak and slack, while some Party members have failed to play an exemplary role. "The problem of corruption remains quite serious in some areas, departments and units," it says.

"All these problems have affected the effectiveness of the Party's governance. Therefore, the entire Party must pay great attention to them and take concrete measures to resolve them." The document says that China's reform and development has reached a critical stage in which new situations and new problems are mushrooming and "hostile forces are still pursuing their strategic attempts to westernize and separate our country."

"To accomplish the three historical missions of further pushing forward the modernization drive, achieving the reunification of the motherland, and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, our Party must spare no efforts to enhance its governance capability," it says.

Governance experience summarized

After 55 years in power, China's ruling Communist Party has summarized a six-point experience of governance as it stresses the need to further enhance its governance capability.

"Over the past half a century and more, the Party has made painstaking efforts to seek answers to two major questions: what is socialism and how to build socialism, and what kind of party the CPC should be and how to build such a party," says the document.

The document says that the Party has drawn experience from its past 55 years of governance mainly in six aspects.

"First, we must make sure the Party's guiding ideology shall always progress with the times, and always use constantly-developing Marxism to guide our new practice," it says.

The Party must adhere to Marxism and Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents" as its guiding ideology, while keeping on exploring the new horizon for the development of Marxist theories in its new practice, it explains.

"Secondly, we must continuously promote the self-improvement of socialism to add vigor and vitality to socialism," the document says.

"Only socialism can save China, and only with socialism with Chinese characteristics can we develop China."

Thirdly, the document says, the CPC must always regard development as its top priority in governing the country, as well as the key to the resolution of all problems in China.

Fourthly the Party must stick to the principle of "seeking benefits for the public and governing for the people," and always maintain its flesh-and-blood links with the general public.

"We shall resolutely combat corruption and ... make sure that the fruits of reform and development can be shared by the general public," it notes.

Fifthly, the Party must always exercise its governing power in a scientific, democratic and law-abiding manner, and constantly improve its leading skills and ways of governance, the document says.

"We shall promote people's democracy by promoting inner-Party democracy," it says. "And while leading the people in making laws, the Party should also play an exemplary role in observing the laws and always safeguard the enforcement of the laws."

Finally, the document says, the Party must continuously strengthen its self-building with a reforming spirit, and keep on improving its creativity, inner unity and fighting capacity.

The six-point experience should also be taken as the major guiding principle for the Party in further enhancing its governance capability in future practice, it says.

Development tops Party agenda

The CPC will continue to take economic development as the top priority in governing the country and rejuvenating the nation, says the document.

"We must persist in making development the top priority in governing the country and rejuvenating the nation and constantly improve the Party's capability in running the socialist market economy," says the document.

The document says the foremost task in the capacity building is to improve the Party's capability to lead the development cause.

The Party should firmly establish the strategic principle of seizing the opportunities to accelerate development and unswervingly persist in the central task of economic construction, it says.

The overall idea and major strategies for China's development up to the year 2020 must be established in a scientific way and study must be accelerated on the formation of medium- and long-term plans for national economic and social development, it says.

The Party will adhere to the scientific concept of development that emphasizes putting people first and comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, so as to better push forward economic and social development.

An effective system to carry out the scientific concept of development should be established, along with a system to evaluate economic and social development that embodies the requirement of the concept.

In formulating guiding principles and policies, attention should be paid to strengthening the weak links, particularly to addressing the issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

The documents also calls for efforts to implement the strategies to develop the western region, invigorate the old industrial bases in the northeast and promote the rise of the central region, while helping old revolutionary bases, areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, border areas and other less developed areas to accelerate development.

Attention should also be paid to expanding employment and reemployment and improving the social security system, while promoting the development of education, science and technology, culture, health, sports and other social undertakings, as well as family planning, resource conservation, environmental protection and production safety.

The Party must adhere to the direction of socialist market economic reform and resolutely remove all concepts and inappropriate mechanisms that obstruct development, the document says.

The Party should correctly handle the relationship between keeping public ownership as the mainstay of the economy and promoting the development of the non-public sector, firmly consolidate and develop public ownership and encourage the state-owned economy to play the dominant role, while unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the private sector so that they could promote and benefit each other.

The document says the Party encourages certain regions and people to get rich first, and pays attention to social fairness while taking measures to address the excessively wide income gap among different regions and different groups of people, so as to gradually realize common affluence of all the people.

The Party will also pay attention to properly handling the relationship between market mechanism and macro-economic control, the relationship between the Central Government and local governments, and the relationship between reform, development and stability.

The document stresses that efforts should be made to uphold the basic state policy of opening to the outside world and improving the level of opening up in an all-round way.

It also urges improvement in the work style of the Party in leading economic work in line with the requirements of the socialist market economy.

Party committees at various levels should support the government to fully perform its duties according to law, it says.

Promoting socialist democracy

The CPC says in the document that it will constantly push forward socialist democracy and expand channels for citizens to participate in political affairs in an orderly way.

The document says the Party will promote the institutionalization, standardization and regularization of socialist democracy and guarantee the people's status of master of the country.

The Party will guarantee that "the people carry out democratic election, policy making, management and supervision according to law," while adhering to and improving the People's Congress system and the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the CPC leadership, says the document.

"We will carry out the basic state policy of governing according to law and improve the level of governance according to law," it says. "All Party members, especially leading cadres, must firmly establish a sense of law, adhere to acting within the scope of the Constitution and laws, and play an exemplary role in safeguarding the authority of the Constitution and laws."

They should promote, support and guarantee state organs to exercise power according to law and safeguard the legal rights and benefits of citizens and legal persons.

The Party should support judicial and procuratorial organs to exercise their power independently and justly according to law, improve the quality of judicial workers, strengthen supervision and guarantee of judicial work, and gradually reform the judicial system to guarantee fairness and justice in the whole society, says the document.

The document also calls for reform and improvement of the decision-making mechanism to push forward scientific and democratic decision-making.

The wisdom of the people should be pooled through various channels and in various forms so that decisions can be made on a real scientific and democratic base, it says. A system to track down responsibilities for wrong decisions should also be established.

The Party will strengthen restraint and supervision over the exercise of power to ensure that the power endowed by the people is used for the benefit of the people.

"Party organizations and cadres at all levels should consciously put themselves under the supervision of Party members and the people," says the document, urging implementation of the existing rules and regulations, including those on inner-Party supervision.

The Party will reform and improve the style of its leadership, giving play to the leading role of Party committees in people's congresses, governments and the committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the same level, it says.

The Party will also strengthen and improve its leadership over trade unions, the Communist Youth League, women's federations and other people's organizations, supporting them to act independently according to laws and their constitutions, and giving play to their role as a bridge between the people.

Building advanced socialist culture

The CPC will adhere to the guiding status of Marxism in the ideological field and constantly improve its capabilities in building advanced socialist culture, says the document.

The document emphasizes that the Party should greatly develop socialist culture and ceaselessly consolidate the common ideological base on which the whole Party and the whole people unite and fight, in order to lead the people in pushing forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

It calls for efforts to press for ideological innovation, by strengthening research and buildup of Marxist theory. By adhering to the guiding status of Marxism in the ideological field, efforts are need to make the Party's ideological and theoretical work more creative, convincing and influential.

The Party will strengthen the buildup of Marxist theory on governance and further probe the law of governance for the Party. "We must carry out in an all-round way the strategic task to arm the whole Party and educate the people with Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of 'Three Represents'," the document says.

It also calls for deepening the restructuring of cultural undertakings to liberate and develop productivity in the cultural field. "To meet the requirements of the socialist market economy, we must further eliminate structural blockages that have hampered cultural development."

"We should put social effects in the first place, integrate social effects with economic benefits, and focus cultural development on meeting the spiritual and cultural demands of the people and the requirement for promoting the comprehensive development of humans," it says.

The Party will firmly hold the direction of public opinion and correctly guide public opinion. In this regard, the principle that the Party controls the media must be upheld, so as to enhance the capability to guide public opinion and gain the initiative of the media work.

It also calls for efforts to give a better role of the media in supervision, improve the information briefing system and build up the ability of news media to respond rapidly to major emergencies.

Efforts should be made to probe for new forms and methods to strengthen and improve the Party's ideological and political work, says the resolution.

"We must strengthens education on ideal and belief, advocate the national spirit with patriotism as the kernel and the spirit of the times that focuses on reform and innovation, and advocate collectivism and socialist thought, so that the whole people always maintain a high spirit."

The Party will integrate the principles of governing by law with governing by ethics. Work should be done to advocate fundamental ethics including patriotism and the rule of law, ceremonial behaviors and credibility, diligence and self-reliance, professionalism and sacrifice; oppose money worship, hedonism and ultra-individualism; eliminate the remaining impacts of feudalism; and resist the erosion of corruptive ideology and culture of capitalism.

It also pledges to give priority to developing education and science undertakings, to enhance the cultural quality of the whole nation.

Building a harmonious socialist society

The CPC has pledged to build up a harmonious society of socialism in China, by mobilizing all kinds of active factors in the most broad and complete way, says the document.

To form a society where the whole people could exert their different abilities, obtain what they deserve and live in a harmony is the certain demand for consolidating the Party's social base for governance and realizing the Party's historical task of governance, the decision says.

It calls for meeting the demands of the profound social changes in China and placing the issue of building up a harmonious society at an important position by stimulating social vitality, pushing forward social justice and fairness, enhancing the sense of law and the sense of integrity in the whole society, and safeguarding social stability and unity.

It calls for an overall implementation of the principles for respecting labor, knowledge, talents and innovation, in a bid to increase the innovative vitality of the whole society.

It pledges to depend on the Working Class wholeheartedly, bring into full play the roles of the Working Class, inclusive of intellectuals, and farmers, who are the fundamental forces for pushing forward economic and social development. It also pledges to encourage and support people of other social classes to actively contribute to the economic and social development.

It calls for coordinating interests and relations among different circles and correctly handling internal contradictions of the people. It pledges to take the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people as the starting and ending points for the making and implementation of policies, in order to correctly reflect and care the interests of the people of different circles.

It pledges to improve social administration by pushing forward the structural innovation of social administration. It calls for efforts to improve working mechanism to maintain social stability.

It pledges to adhere to the Mass Line of the Party by strengthening and improving the Mass Work under the new situation. It calls for drawing close the relations between the Party and the people as well as relations between officials and the ordinary people.

Adhering to independent foreign policy of peace

The CPC will adhere to the independent foreign policy of peace and constantly improve its ability to handle international affairs so as to create a good international and surrounding environment for China's modernization drive, says the document.

This is a must for the Party to lead the people in achieving the great goal of building a relatively affluent society in an all-round way and in safeguarding world peace and development for common prosperity, says the document.

The decision says the Party will improve its ability to judge international situation, unswervingly implement the set foreign policy and constantly enhance its capability of carrying out exchanges with the international community.

"We should always put national sovereignty and security in the first place and firmly safeguard state security," says the document.

Facing the new situation characterized by the interweaving of traditional threat and non-traditional threat on security, "we should enhance the sense of state security, improve the strategy of state security, and spare no time to establish a scientific, well-coordinated and highly efficient work mechanism to maintain state security," it says.

"We will resolutely guard against and fight the infiltrative, subversive and separative activities of all hostile forces and effectively guard against and deal with various risks from the international economic field, so as to safeguard China's political, economic, cultural and information security," says the document.

It is a major strategic task of the Party's governance to adhere to coordinated development of national defense and economic growth for building a modernized regular revolutionary army to safeguard national security.

The document reiterates the importance of the Party's absolute leadership over the military and that of adhering to the military strategy of active defense, while pushing forward military reform with Chinese characteristics and improving the armed forces' combat capability of defense in the information era.

Maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao is a brand-new subject of the Party's governance under new circumstances, and solving the issue of Taiwan and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland is a sacred task of the Party, the document says.

"We will adhere to the principle of 'one country, two systems, ''Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong,' 'Macao People governing Macao' and a high degree of autonomy, act strictly according to the Basic Laws of the two special administrative regions (SAR), and support the chief executives and SAR governments to administer according to law and improve their governance capability."

"We firmly oppose any interference in Hong Kong and Macao affairs by outside forces," says the document.

The Party will implement the basic principle of "peaceful unification and one country, two systems" and the eight-point proposal on developing relations across the Taiwan Straits and promoting peaceful reunification of the motherland at the present stage.

At the same time, it says, "we will promote personnel, economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Straits, strive to safeguard peace and stability in the region and push forward the great cause of reunification of the motherland."

"We will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with our utmost sincerity and utmost efforts, resolutely oppose and hold back separating elements for 'Taiwan independence', and resolutely oppose and stop any activities of foreign forces to meddle with affairs across the Straits."

"We will resolutely crush any conspiracy aimed at separating Taiwan from China and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," the document says.

Advancing Party's governance capacity

The Central Committee of the CPC says in the document that it is key for the enhancement of the Party's ruling capacity to strengthen and improve the ideological, organizational, stylistic and institutional building of the Party.

First of all, it is imperative to arm the whole Party with Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Important Thought of Three Represents so as to promote the Party's Marxism theoretical level, says the document.

Referring to deepening the reform of the Party's personnel system, the decision pledges to improve the inner party election system by "appropriately expanding the scope and ratio of multi-candidate recommendation and elections."

Existing rules and practices of democratic recommendation, multi-candidate selection, opinion solicitation on newly appointed officials, public selection of officials, public competition for official post, decision making through a vote by all members of a Party committee instead of arbitrary decision making by head of the committee, as well as democratic assessment of incumbent officials should be continued to be enforced and further improved, according to the decision.

All these measures are aimed at creating a "high quality contingent of Party leaders that are competent for ruling the country and handling state affairs," the decision says.

The decision calls for further consolidation and improvement of grass-roots organizations of the Party, encouraging them to expand the Party's membership among workers, farmers, intellectuals, soldiers, as well as people eligible from other social strata.

"Weak, slack and impotent Party committees must be timely reshuffled and unqualified Party members be severely dealt with," the decision says.

The decision stresses that the long-held principle of democratic centralism must continue to be adhered to for the unity and vitality of the Party. "Different ideas of Party members should be discussed in the Party on the equal footing to encourage all Party members to speak out what they are thinking of," it says.

The document calls for the Party to uphold its long-standing tradition of seeking truth from facts by keeping close ties with the people. Detachment from the people and seeking profit by taking advantage of official posts, as well as the work and life style of formalism, bureaucratism, falsification, cockiness and extravagance, must be resolutely opposed to, according to the decision.

Referring to the fight against corruption, the decision says that it is "an issue of life or death for the Party."

"The longer the Party stays in power, the more arduous the anti-corruption task will be, and it is more necessary for the Party to unswervingly wedge the war against corruption and enhance its ability to prevent corruption," the decision says.

In addition to tough penalties against corrupt officials, the Party must intensify its institutional advancement to ensure clean and honest performance of Party and government officials, the resolution says.

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