What the Sixth Plenum will come up with

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS -

The on­go­ing Sixth Plenum of the 18th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China is very im­por­tant, be­cause the core doc­u­ments of the four pre­vi­ous sixth plenums of the Party Cen­tral Com­mit­tee led to, re­spec­tively, the pro­mo­tion of cul­ture, build­ing of a har­mo­nious so­ci­ety, im­prove­ment in Party work style, and boost­ing of so­cial morale.

The on­go­ing Sixth Plenum, in­stead of be­ing only a po­lit­i­cal show­piece, will come up with rich, sub­stan­tive con­tents. This ob­ser­va­tion is based on two con­sid­er­a­tions. First, the Sixth Plenum will make new­po­lit­i­cal rules for the Party’s rank and file and re­vise the rules on in­tra-Party su­per­vi­sion after tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion par­tic­i­pat­ing CPC of­fi­cials’ com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion of the Party’s work over the past four years, the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign in par­tic­u­lar. And as the crack­down on cor­rup­tion en­ters the stage of pros­e­cu­tion and trial, peo­ple will be­gin to shift fo­cus on long-term mech­a­nisms.

Top leader Xi Jin­ping made two vi­tal re­marks at the be­gin­ning of the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign. One was to “lock cor­rup­tion into the cage of sys­tems” and the other was to “make lead­ing of­fi­cials ‘dare not’, ‘can­not’ and ‘do not want’ to en­gage in cor­rup­tion”. On his part, Wang Qis­han, who heads the CPC Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, pledged at the time to “win time for the es­tab­lish­ment of anti-cor­rup­tion mech­a­nisms with heavy blows”.

Through the se­ries of rec­ti­fi­ca­tion moves and harsh pun­ish­ments meted out to cor­rupt of­fi­cials, the po­lit­i­cal bio­sphere in the CPC has more or less been pu­ri­fied. Be­sides, pub­lic anger against cor­rup­tion has grad­u­ally turned into an­tic­i­pa­tion for durable anti-cor­rup­tion mech­a­nisms. As such, en­act­ment of rules and reg­u­la­tions re­flect­ing rigid re­straint as well as strict over­sight has be­come a mat­ter of course.

The sec­ond, and more im­por­tant, rea­son the on­go­ing Sixth Plenum will pro­pel sub­stan­tial changes is that it is nec­es­sary for ev­ery Party mem­ber and or­ga­ni­za­tion to share com­mon ideals and abide by the Party’s dis­ci­pline. Such an im­per­a­tive has to do not only with the CPC’s present state, but also with the tremen­dous pres­sures cre­ated by China’s stag­nat­ing econ­omy and ris­ing so­cial con­tra­dic­tions.

Be­hind the slow­ing econ­omy is a re­al­ity: eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing, re­duc­ing over­ca­pac­ity, en­sur­ing healthy in­vest­ment lev­els at home and abroad, and main­tain­ing a ba­sic bal­ance be­tween im­ports and ex­ports are not only dif­fi­cult to achieve tasks but also come with fi­nan­cial risks. Se­vere chal­lenges also con­front ur­ban­iza­tion, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, un­em­ploy­ment re­duc­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, food and drug safety, and pub­lic se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially when it comes to ad­dress­ing prob­lems such as tele­com scams that in­volve per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Such chal­lenges are a com­bi­na­tion of the his­tor­i­cal con­tra­dic­tions ac­cu­mu­lated since the be­gin­ning of re­form and open­ing-up, and the re­cent con­tra­dic­tions, are the log­i­cal out­comes of the coun­try’s in­ten­sive re­forms, and a se­vere test for pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

For­tu­nately, the CPC is a party of nearly 90 mil­lion mem­bers and a to­tal of 4.36 mil­lion grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tions. With mem­bers ac­count­ing for nearly 10 per­cent of Chi­nese above the age of 18 years and cells across the coun­try, from ev­ery vil­lage and ur­ban neigh­bor­hood to ev­ery State or­gan, and pub­lic and pri­vate en­ter­prise— even for­eign com­pa­nies with Chi­nese staff— the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment need not worry much about im­ple­ment­ing its poli­cies.

Some may see this as the Party performing the gov­ern­ment’s func­tions. But judg­ing from the ex­ten­sive and strict na­ture of Party or­ga­ni­za­tions, and from its 67 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of lead­er­ship, the CPC has de­vel­oped quasi-gov­ern­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties for gov­ern­ing, or­ga­niz­ing and in­te­grat­ing Chi­nese so­ci­ety.

The essence of the on­go­ing Sixth Plenum and the doc­u­ments it en­dorses, there­fore, will be gen­eral mo­bi­liza­tion of the Party’s rank and file in the face of prac­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties.

The au­thor is a re­search scholar at China Foun­da­tion for In­ter­na­tional and Strate­gic Stud­ies. Source: chin­aus­fo­cus.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.