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China's anti-corruption fight on road to success

By Liu Jincheng | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2017-10-27 08:18

In his report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct 18, General Secretary Xi Jinping reiterated the importance of the Party and all Chinese people striving to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. And to realize that goal, strict self-governance of the ruling party is mandatory.

In fact, since the 18th National Congress, the CPC has strengthened self-governance by imposing strict discipline within the Party in an all-around way. As a result, corruption has been curbed, and the anti-corruption campaign has gained "crushing momentum", according to Xi's report. Officials now "dare not" and "cannot" afford to be corrupt.

Given the severe and complicated nature of corruption, the primary task of the Party must now be to eliminate corruption in all its forms at the source.

Although corruption has been greatly curbed, bringing more "tigers" (high-ranking corrupt officials) to book will deter other officials from indulging in graft. And by punishing the "flies" (lower-level corrupt officials), the Party will enable more people to enjoy the fruits of corruption-free governance at the grassroots level.

It is also important to intensify the overseas "Sky Net" and "Fox Hunt" operations to ensure fugitives abroad are brought back to receive punishment, so as to send a clear message that there is no "safe haven" for corrupt officials. Actually, 3,453 fugitives, 48 of whom were on the "red alert" list, have been brought back to China.

In the past five years, the Party discipline watchdogs and supervision bodies have handled more than 2.67 million cases, which has led to more than 1.53 million people being punished, about 58,000 of whom have been transferred to judicial authorities, according to the data given at a news conference on Party governance on Oct 19.

Additionally, 440 senior Party officials at or above ministerial level have been investigated, and over 8,900 officials at bureau level, 63,000 officials at county level, and 278,000 grassroots-level officials have been punished according to Party discipline.

Seriously dealing with corruption cases is the key to the success of the anti-corruption campaign and gaining public recognition for the overall fight against graft .

Tackling corruption requires determination, while consolidating the results of anti-corruption work requires strong institution building. Since the 18th National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has been strengthening the Party's regulations and systems, in order to establish a mechanism that would ensure officials are "unable" to indulge in corruption by misusing or abusing institutional norms.

Comprehensively strengthening the Party's regulations is vital to expediting the process of building a stronger Party. The CPC Central Committee has refined or strengthened 1,178 Party regulations and documents since the 18th National Congress, and issued or revised about 60 regulations, which account for more than one-third of the Party's overall regulations. And only by strengthening its laws and regulations can the Party deepen the work of strict self-governance in an all-around way.

Essentially, the root cause of corruption is the weakening of venal officials' ideology and faith. As a Party with more than 89 million members, the CPC should not rest after dealing with only individual corruption cases if it wants to strengthen itself. It should pay greater attention to Party-building to strengthen self-governance in an all-around way.

Since the 18th National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core has taken up ideological and political construction as an important task, by focusing not only on the "key minority" in the Party, but also all Party members.

The Party launched the mass line campaign in June 2013, which continued until October 2014. Its "three stricts and three honests" campaign - to ensure officials above county level are strict in morals, self-discipline and use of power, and honest in decisions, business and behavior - lasted from April 2015 to February last year. And in February 2016, the Party launched the "Two Studies, One Action" campaign covering all Party members. The series of campaigns have made all Party members more aware about the Party spirit.

Consolidating the ideology and faith of the Party members in its philosophy and honesty is the key to eliminating corruption at the source.

The author is director of the Center for Anti-Corruption Studies, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

China's anti-corruption fight on road to success

(China Daily European Weekly 10/27/2017 page23)

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