Xi’s stern message to top officials: ‘Keep away from corruption, refrain from obeying foreign examples’

Image Source : AP Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned senior ruling Communist Party officials to maintain personal integrity, set strict rules for relatives to keep them away from corruption and refrain from blindly following “foreign examples” and reckless actions.

“Members of the Political Bureau of the CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee should exert rigorous requirements on themselves according to the standards of Marxist statesmen, setting an example in maintaining personal integrity and self-discipline for the whole Party,” Xi told a key meeting of the party on December 22, details of which were released by the official media on Sunday.

“They must set strict rules for their family members, relatives, and staff workers around them when it comes to the efforts against corruption,” said 70-year-old Xi, who is the only Chinese leader after party founder Mao Zedong to continue in power for a third successive term.

Xi Jinping ‘dictator’ leadership

Xi, who is also widely regarded as continuing in power like Mao by his “core leadership” status, remained powerful as he continued to head the CPC and the military besides the Presidency.

Since he took over the leadership of the party in 2012, he has been continuing with the anti-corruption campaign in which, according to official media accounts, over a million officials, including several top military generals, were punished.

The intensity of the campaign also attracted criticism that Xi made effective use of it to silence his critics and rivals within the party and the government.

On December 4, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the anti-corruption unit of the CPC, threatened to intensify the crackdown against corruption, saying that despite a decade-old clampdown the problem is prevalent among thousands of cadres and officials.

The CCDI said corruption was becoming harder to detect and plans to extend the crackdown on extravagant government spending, especially during the Spring festival and Chinese New Year to be celebrated in February next year.

During the festival season, Chinese officials in the past were accused of accepting extravagant gifts for favours.

China’s corruption

The CCDI said that in the first 10 months of the year, it investigated nearly 80,000 violations of the anti-extravagance regulations and some 114,238 people were placed under investigation and received a warning.

Of those, 80,096 have faced party or administrative disciplinary action.

The 24-member Political Bureau of the CPC, also known as the Politburo, is the decision-making body of the party. At the Friday self-criticism meeting, presided over by Xi, each politburo member took turns to speak critically about their work.

“They were open and frank in examining their conduct by the regulations of the Political Bureau on upholding and strengthening the centralised, unified leadership of the party,” a detailed report by state-run Xinhua news agency said.

“The meeting resolved that the whole party, the entire military, and the people must deeply understand… and become more conscious of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central party leadership,” it said.

The meeting took place amid concerns over the slowdown of China, and the increasing crisis in its property sector, which is one of the growth sectors of the country.

Besides the slowdown, China for the first time in recent years faced high youth unemployment. The government as a result has stopped publishing official employment data to prevent public protests.

Also, the pilling of local government debts is adding to pressures on the financial system of the second-largest economy.

The Friday meeting, however, spoke highly of all-round development in the country, including record grain output, stable prices of commodities, the breakthrough in innovations, defusing risks of debt and timely deliveries of pre-sold houses.

(With inputs from agency)

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