Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presided over the 40th group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Friday afternoon to discuss the issue of making coordinated efforts to ensure officials do not dare, are not able, and have no desire to commit corruption.
Combating corruption is the most important political issue that concerns the people's trust and support. It is a fight that we cannot afford to lose. We must deepen our understanding of improving Party conduct, building clean government, and fighting against corruption under the new circumstances, enhance our ability to advance coordinated efforts to ensure that officials do not dare to engage in corruption and that they have neither the opportunity nor the desire to do so, and thus win this tough and prolonged battle in all respects, Xi stressed.
Liu Meipin, director of the Case Supervision and Management Office of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, explained the issue and put forward suggestions. Then members of the Political Bureau conducted a discussion.
Presiding over the study session, Xi made important remarks. To have the courage to carry out self-reform is the most distinctive part of our Party's character tempered during century-long struggles. Throughout different historical periods, our Party has stayed committed to strict self-governance. Upon entering the new era, we have put forward a series of new concepts, ideas, and strategies to incorporate the Party's strict self-governance in all respects into the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, and we have explored an effective approach to avoiding the historical cycle of rise and fall through self-reform. With unmatched efforts to combat corruption and uphold integrity and as a Party with unity and solidarity at the forefront of the times, our Party has seized the historical initiative of maintaining close ties with the people and winning their wholehearted support and in leading the Chinese people toward national rejuvenation.
Xi noted that since the Party's 18th National Congress in 2012, we have seen marked achievements in combating corruption and accumulated valuable experiences. First, we have set up the work system for fighting corruption under the Party's overall leadership. We have improved systems and mechanisms under which the synergy of efforts makes a difference. They are characterized by unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, command and coordination of Party committees at different levels, organization and coordination of discipline inspection commissions and supervision commissions, effective cooperation between functional departments, and participation and support of the people.
Second, we have started from addressing the symptoms of corruption and incorporated the incremental achievements into the fight to eradicate the root causes, to ensure that Party members and officials are deterred from abuse of power, are not able to be corrupt as confined by the system, and have no desire to commit corruption because of their clear conscience and political awareness.
Third, we have maintained the severity in our discipline and punishment that are meted out to corrupt elements, with zero tolerance toward corruption. We have worked hard to resolutely contain the increase of corruption while cleaning up the remains of corruption. We have strictly dealt with corruption that hampers the implementation of the Party's theories, guidelines, principles, and policies and that undermines the Party's governing foundations. We have showed no mercy in ridding our Party of the corrupt elements who feigned compliance and practiced duplicity. To further anti-corruption work in key areas, our attitude has remained unchanged, determination undiminished, and discipline unabated.
Fourth, we have built tight the cage of institutions that prevents corruption by forming a relatively complete system of intraparty regulations and anti-corruption laws. We have enforced Party discipline and laws more stringently to prevent some from taking advantage of loopholes in the systems and made sure that all the laws, regulations, and institutions work effectively and produce a synergy to make anti-corruption mechanisms bite.
Fifth, the ideological defense against corruption has been built up. Party members and officials have been equipped with correct ideals and convictions, and the whole Party has been armed with its new theories. Party members and officials have also cultivated their conduct and mind with fine Chinese cultural traditions. As such, they have developed moral integrity and correct political convictions.
Sixth, we have strengthened checks on and oversight over the exercise of power and deepened reform of the Party's discipline inspection system and the national supervision system. We have ensured that internal oversight covers the whole Party, and that supervision covers everyone working in the public sector, strengthened the Party's self-supervision and subjected ourselves to public oversight, and integrated identifying problems, promoting rectification, boosting reform, and improving institutions. We have educated and guided Party members and officials to exercise power for public affairs only, in accordance with the law, and for the interests of the people and never to abuse the power in their hands.
Xi stressed that corruption takes place because various unhealthy factors inside the Party have been accumulating and deteriorating for a long period of time, and that crackdown on corruption is to combat all pathogens that undermine the Party's advanced nature and purity. Such battle is so complex and tough that we can hardly allow even the slightest concession or compromise. We must have the courage to face problems squarely and be braced for the pain, and remain firm in fighting corruption, removing its roots, and clearing away its negative influence, so as to ensure the Party's nature remains unchanged and our socialist country stands forever.
Xi noted that although we have won overwhelming victory in the fight against corruption and fully consolidated what has been achieved, the situation is still tough and complex. We should never underestimate the stubbornness and harm of corruption. We must carry the anti-corruption campaign through to the end. To make coordinated efforts to see to it that officials have no audacity, opportunity, or desire to engage in corruption, actions in the three aspects must be taken at the same time, to the same direction, and in an all-round manner. In this way, the deterrence of discipline and punishment to ensure that officials do not dare to abuse their power, the cage of institutions to ensure that officials are unable to do so, and the ideological defense to ensure that officials have no desire to be corrupt can be integrated. A "full cycle" management mode can be used to ensure that all measures coordinate with each other in terms of policy orientation, complement each other in the process of implementation, and bring out the best in each other in terms of effects.
Xi stressed that we must strengthen the CPC Central Committee's centralized, unified leadership over anti-corruption work, give full play to the Party's political, organizational, and institutional strengths, and ensure Party committees and leading Party members' groups of all levels take on their responsibilities in strengthening Party self-governance in all respects, with particular emphasis on the responsibilities of heads of Party and government bodies. We must make sure that relevant functional departments coordinate and fulfill their supervisory duties, so as to perfect the accountability framework for Party self-governance in which all sectors carry out their respective responsibilities and coordinate with each other. The anti-corruption campaigns should be coordinated with the Party's political, ideological, organizational, conduct, disciplinary, and institutional development. We should launch a comprehensive offensive against corruption, with political supervision, ideological education, organizational management, improvement of Party conduct, discipline enforcement, and institutional improvement all playing important roles in preventing and curbing corruption.
Xi noted that we should stay vigilant and strike hard with zero tolerance of corruption, and coordinate our efforts in various fields to reduce recurring problems until they are eliminated and prevent new ones from spreading. We should resolutely contain the emergence of new corruption cases and eliminate the existing ones. We need to have an accurate understanding of the characteristics of corruption in different stages and its changing patterns, focus on major areas and key links, take firm actions to "take out tigers, " "swat flies," and "hunt down foxes, " eliminate high-risk industry-specific and institutional corruption, and effectively prevent and defuse the risks of corruption and economic and social risks related to it. In light of their actual conditions, all localities and departments should conduct in-depth analysis of their own political ecology, identify prominent features, key areas, and vulnerable links of corruption, and carry out targeted rectification with all-out efforts so as to achieve results.
Xi stressed that we should address the source of corruption by improving mechanisms and systems for the use of power and management of officials, so as to realize regular and long-term prevention and control of corruption. We should try to reduce opportunities for corruption and, for those exercising powers such as of policy-making, decision-making, administrative approval and supervision, and law enforcement, we should impose strict regulations on their duties and jurisdictions, introduce standard work procedures, tighten checks on their exercise of power, and reduce illicit interference in micro-economic activities. We should take effective actions to prevent corruption from growing, introduce prevention measures in the earlier stage, enhance everyday management and oversight, and make precise use of the four forms of oversight over discipline compliance, so that problems can be identified early and rectified while they are nascent and layers of prevention against corruption can be in place. We should carry forward the Party's glorious traditions and fine conduct, launch targeted education on the Party spirit and campaigns to enhance Party members' awareness of the need to combat corruption, nurture our body and mind with a probity culture, establish an evaluation system of officials that meets the needs of the new stage and new era, and pay close attention to educating and guiding young officials. A mechanism must be established between early warning against corruption and the punishment of corrupt elements. We should strengthen analysis and research on new features of corruption such as deeply-hidden ways of abuse of power and varied methods of rent-seeking and improve our capability to timely detect and effectively deal with corruption.
Xi called for deepening the reform of the oversight systems of the Party and the state, with intraparty oversight as the mainstay, for promoting the integration of various oversight forces and oversight work, and for improving the coverage and effectiveness of the oversight of power in order to ensure that it is not abused in any way. Xi required that intraparty regulations and the national legal system must be optimized and anti-corruption laws and regulations involving foreign countries improved at a faster pace. We must strictly implement our institutions and internalize the compliance with rules and disciplines into the ideological and political consciousness of Party members and officials, Xi said. When carrying on self-reform, we should rely on people's support and help to solve our own problems.
Xi stressed that comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline and fighting against corruption must start with the management of leading officials, especially senior officials. The higher an official's position is, the more power he or she has, the more he or she should hold in veneration his or her work and be self-disciplined. Leading officials, especially senior ones, should strictly discipline not only themselves, but also their family members and people around them. They should make efforts to create a clean environment in the sectors under their immediate or indirect auspice. They must set a good example themselves in creating a clean political ecology, building a clean work relationship among colleagues and between ranking officials and their subordinates, and drawing a clear demarcation line between government departments and businesspeople. Their good example should help create a social environment where social morals prevail.
Members of the Political Bureau must uphold the highest standards as far as self-discipline is concerned. They must be the first to do what the Party requires its members to do, and resolutely refrain from doing whatever the Party prohibits its members from doing, Xi said.
Xi stressed that discipline inspection and supervision agencies must take the initiative to respond to new situations and new challenges in the fight against corruption, deepen their understanding of the laws governing Party management and the anti-corruption struggle, constantly improve their capabilities and work performance, and accept, of their own accord, oversight from the Party and all sectors of society. With the spirit of self-reform, they must never be blind to their own problems.
Discipline inspection and supervision officials must be loyal to the Party, have firm political convictions, remain selfless and fearless, always uphold the Party spirit, enforce discipline impartially, exercise power prudently, dare to and be good at fighting against corruption, and truly ensure that the CPC Central Committee is rest assured and people are satisfied with their work, Xi noted.