The Communist Party of China (CPC) has called on all its members to “closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” a call to action that many observers believe will give the country the impetus to realize its two centenary goals.
The call was included in a communique released Thursday after the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which was held from Monday to Thursday.
Party members were told to resolutely safeguard the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its central, unified leadership while pushing forward the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party.
That “the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core” was officially put forward at the meeting is “where the fundamental interests of the Party and state lie,” said Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department.
It is also a fundamental guarantee for the adherence to and strengthening of the CPC leadership, Liu said after the meeting.
The strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core is vital to China’s targets to build an “all-round moderately prosperous society” for the CPC’s centennial in 2021, and for it to become a “modern socialist country” in time for the PRC’s centennial in 2049, said Liu Dongchao, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance.
The meeting approved two documents on the discipline of the Party, including the norms of political life within the Party under the new situation and a regulation on intra-Party supervision.
Liu Dongchao called the two documents “a perfection of the CPC’s governance system, which will result in a better intra-Party political life,” adding that the communique is “an embodiment of the Party’s strengthened awareness of its responsibilities.”
The CPC has called on all Party members to firmly uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee.
A leading core is vital to a country and a political party, the communique said, adding the entire Party should consciously maintain a high degree of consistency with the CPC Central Committee in thoughts, politics and actions.
Ensuring the authority of the CPC Central Committee and the proper execution of orders of the Party are concerned with the destiny of the Party and the state, according to the communique.
They are also concerned with the fundamental interests of the people of all ethnic groups in China, and they are important purposes of strengthening and regulating intra-Party political life, the communique said.
An overhaul of intra-Party political life was a pressing task for the CPC, if it was to weather the storm of challenges — the ruling status, reform and opening up, market economy and other external factors — it had to address the dangers rocking the boat, including the slacking of officials, incompetence, isolation from the people and corruption, it noted.
It said the CPC needs to be empowered to successfully purify, perfect, reform and upgrade itself, resist corruption and withstand risks, thus, safeguarding the authority of the CPC Central Committee and the Party’s unity, advancement and purity.
Party organizations at all levels and all Party members, especially senior cadres, should conform to the CPC Central Committee and CPC theory, path, principle and policy, as well as decisions made by the CPC Central Committee.
Party organizations at all levels and all Party members should firmly follow what the CPC Central Committee advocates, firmly implement what the CPC Central Committee decides, and must not do what the CPC Central Committee prohibits, according to the communique.
The document also urged Party discipline to be thoroughly enforced with no exceptions made for any organizations or members.
Every individual or organization is equal before Party discipline and none enjoys any prerogatives, it said.
The CPC vowed to tackle corruption in its promotion system, putting an end to the buying and selling of official posts and vote rigging.
According to the communique, requesting an official post, honor or special treatment is not allowed under any circumstances.
The communique also underscored that bargaining with Party organizations or disobeying decisions made by Party organizations is forbidden.
“No one should be allowed to consider Party officials as their private property,” the document said, adding there should be no “personal favors” within the Party.
There will no longer be any place for corrupt officials to hide in the CPC, the communique noted.
In efforts to clean up Party politics, leading officials are banned from using their positions to seek benefits for friends and family. Family members and friends of leading officials will be banned from interfering in the work of leading officials, including personnel arrangements, the communique said.
Stating that building clean politics and opposing corruption was an important task in strengthening and standardizing political life within the Party, the meeting called for the building of a system that ensures officials dare not, will not and cannot be corrupt.
In addition, leading officials at all levels have no right to seek personal privilege, it said, adding that they should take the lead in implementing socialist core values and acting with integrity and self-discipline.
The Party will stick to the policy of “no restricted zones, full coverage and zero tolerance” in its fight against corruption, it added.
The communique stressed supervision as the fundamental guarantee for exercising power properly, as well as a crucial measure for strengthening and regulating political life within the Party.
Unrestricted power or unsupervised Party members are not allowed to exist within the CPC, it said. “No prohibited zone or exception will be allowed in intra-Party supervision.”
Intra-Party supervision should be carried out in accordance with regulations and by observing the principles of democratic centralism, top-down organizational supervision, democratic supervision from the bottom to the top, and peer review or critique, said the communique.
The mission of intra-Party supervision is to ensure the Party Constitution, its regulations and code of conduct are enforced effectively; to maintain Party unity and solidarity; and, primarily, to resolve Party leadership enervation and slackness in Party building and governance as well as discipline slackening, it said.
Supervision will ensure Party organizations perform their due duties, that all members play vanguard and exemplary roles and leading officials are loyal, clean and accountable.
The main targets of supervision are the CPC’s top organs and officials, particularly senior officials, according to the communique.
Intra-Party supervision should focus on Party members’ observance of the Party Constitution and rules as well as the country’s Constitution and laws, adherence to the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, official’s integrity and self-discipline, and impartial exercise of official power.
19TH CPC NATIONAL CONGRESS
The 19th CPC National Congress, a major event in the political life of the Party and the state, will be held in Beijing in the second half of 2017, according to the communique.
The entire Party shall comprehensively implement the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress, as well as the third, fourth, fifth and sixth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the communique stressed.
In the lead-up to the 19th CPC National Congress, the Party shall rally and lead people of all ethnicities to forge ahead with firm confidence; perform various jobs of the Party and the state, particularly preparatory work for thought, theories and organization, economic and social development, as well as ideological work; and safeguard social harmony and stability, the communique said.
Two new members have been added to the CPC Central Committee to fill vacancies, who are Zhao Xiangeng and Xian Hui, formerly alternate members of the CPC Central Committee.
The meeting also endorsed prior decisions to expel four former senior officials from the Party, including former Party chief of Liaoning Province and senior national legislator Wang Min, former Beijing deputy Party chief Lyu Xiwen, and former senior military officials Fan Changmi and Niu Zhizhong.