22 February 2019
China's anti-corruption fight will remain 'a long process', says Wang Qishan. Photo: Bloomberg
China's anti-corruption fight will remain 'a long process', says Wang Qishan. Photo: Bloomberg

China graft buster attacks ‘unhealthy’ political culture

The head of the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-graft body launched a scathing attack on party members on Monday, writing that political culture remains “unhealthy” and governance weak.

“All of the issues discovered during the inspections reflect the weakening of party leadership, shortcomings in party building and insufficient efforts to strictly enforce party discipline,” Wang Qishan wrote in the party’s official People’s Daily, Reuters reports.

“Party concepts are faint, organization is lax and discipline flabby. The root is in the party’s internal political life being not serious and unhealthy,” said Wang, who heads the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Wang said the anti-graft inspections that have begun since President Xi Jinping took office five years ago routinely discovered recurring problems.

The fight against corruption will remain “a long process”, he wrote.

Xi’s crackdown on corruption has seen dozens of senior officials jailed, reaching right into the upper echelons of the party.

Xi has warned, like others before him, that the problem is so serious it could affect the party’s grip on power.

Wang agreed with that assessment in his article. 

As head of the CCDI, Wang has been the chief enforcer of Xi’s pervasive anti-corruption drive and is widely considered as the party’s most powerful man after Xi.

Despite an unwritten retirement age rule suggesting he should step down at this autumn’s party congress, Wang, who turns 69 this month, could be kept on by Xi as head of a new National Supervisory Commission that will combine the powers of several graft-fighting bodies, sources have told Reuters.

“The greatest challenge to our party ruling for a long time and ruling fully is effective supervision,” Wang wrote in his People’s Daily article.

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