19 November 2018
The red flag is up on corrupt cadres. President Xi Jinping has the Communist Party system to rely on in making party members toe the line. Photo: Reuters
The red flag is up on corrupt cadres. President Xi Jinping has the Communist Party system to rely on in making party members toe the line. Photo: Reuters

POLICY WATCH: Xi takes graft fight to inner circle

President Xi Jinping {習近平} is fighting an uphill battle against corruption, throwing everything in his power into the nascent campaign, sparing no one.

If nothing else, he has the Communist Party system, with its established rules and code of conduct, to rely on in making party members toe the line.

On Tuesday, he told a meeting of senior cadres that he wants the party to play a greater role in the country’s political and legal affairs.

That’s party speak for closing ranks on one of his greatest challenges — maintaining social stability — and a subtle warning that corrupt party members will be dealt with.

Ensuring social order is the basic task in the country’s political and legal work and promoting social justice and equality its core value, he said.

Xi issued the call as the party stepped up a crackdown on decades of official misconduct attributed to poor compliance with party discipline and lax oversight.

In the latest move, several senior party officials with close ties to disgraced former politburo standing committee member Zhou Yongkang {周永康} have been arrested in a graft investigation. Zhou himself is believed to be under investigation for alleged corruption.

Since taking power last year, Xi has launched sweeping reforms across a wide swath of the socio-political spectrum, unleashing his mark on the economy, on politics and on the social fabric.

In his signature anti-graft campaign, he has vowed to rid the system of flies and tigers, meaning no one — big or small — will be spared if found guilty of corruption.

Xi is digging in on an obvious target — the Communist Party itself with its culture of political overreach and privilege. 

“The party should lead legislation, ensure law enforcement and set an example in abiding by the law,” Xi said. “Political and legal work should be conducted with the aim of safeguarding party policies and the authority of the law.”

Not in these remarks is his oft-repeated line that the fight against graft is a matter of survival for the party.  

Xi ordered that all workers in the political and legal departments take a leading role and improve their abilities to perform various field missions. 

He reaffirmed the importance of rule of law in resolving conflict between the government and the people. Their demands for protection of their lawful interests must be properly handled and policies that impact their lives and must be improved.

Abuse of power, wrongful judgments, ordinary people unable to get legal access and police not responding to emergencies will not be tolerated, he said. In addition, balance should be maintained between stability and people’s interests as well between growth and social order.

In addition, officials should take public concerns seriously, ensure protection of life and property and crack down on serious criminal offences, he said.

Judicial reform will be a pillar of political restructuring. It will include increased efforts to establish an impartial and authoritative socialist judicial system.

Finally, all officials in the legal and political departments should enforce the law impartially, promote transparency in their work and be open to public scrutiny. Severe sanctions await offenders.

– Contact the reporter at [email protected]




EJ Insight writer

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