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That Xi Jinping, the newly elected general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, connected the fight against corruption with the fate of the Party and the country indicates he and his colleagues know the severity of the task ahead.
Xi, speaking at the first study session of the new Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC on Saturday, said that the increasingly rampant corruption, if unchecked, would eventually result in the collapse of the Party and thereafter the country.
He said the corruption cases involving government officials in recent years had seriously tarnished the image of the Party. He stressed that Party committees at all levels must fight against corruption in a clear and determined manner, and the fight must be carried out in a more effective and institutionalized way.
It is not difficult to conclude from the many corruption cases that have caught the public eye that the concentration of power within the hands of leaders at various levels is a main reason for abuses of power.
Despite the democratic centralism within the Party, there are not enough institutional mechanisms to prevent power from being gripped by leaders at various levels, who can then wield power according to their own will.
Both the central government and Party leaders have mentioned on many occasions the need for the optimization of institutions to prevent government and Party officials from abusing their power. And the Party Constitution, which was amended and adopted at the 18th National Congress of the CPC that concluded last week, states that the supervision of leading officials must be intensified.
Xi said on Saturday that although the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is unique and effective, institution building and consolidation must be placed at the top of the Party's agenda. He quoted former leader Deng Xiaoping - who in 1992 said that it might take 30 years for the CPC and the government under its leadership to have a mature set of institutions in all fields - and urged greater efforts.
Therefore, some new institutional mechanisms can be expected in the near future to intensify supervision over leaders at all levels.
Xi obviously means what he said, and clearly the battle against corruption will be one of the major tasks of this central committee.
(China Daily 11/20/2012 page8)