What ef­fect will strict Party dis­ci­pline have?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - VIEWS -

The Sixth Plenum of the 18th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China is­sued two doc­u­ments in Novem­ber: The Norms Re­gard­ing In­tra-Party Po­lit­i­cal Life In New Sit­u­a­tion and Reg­u­la­tions Re­gard­ing In­traParty Su­per­vi­sion. The doc­u­ments em­pha­size stricter su­per­vi­sion of the Party and Party mem­bers.

Given their aims, the doc­u­ments will play a ma­jor role in bol­ster­ing the on­go­ing cam­paign against cor­rup­tion and help­ing pre­vent cor­rup­tion in­stead of com­bat­ing it af­ter it hap­pens.

Strict Party reg­u­la­tion should be made an in­te­gral part of the gov­er­nance of po­lit­i­cal par­ties, be­cause a ma­jor­ity of the cor­rup­tion cases have their ori­gin in vi­o­la­tions of dis­ci­pline. The re­quire­ments of Party dis­ci­pline are gen­er­ally higher than those of laws, yet they are nec­es­sary be­cause Party mem­bers should abide by not only laws, but also Party dis­ci­pline and reg­u­la­tions.

In par­tic­u­lar, stricter dis­ci­pline re­quire­ments for Party mem­bers will cre­ate an at­mos­phere con­ducive to clean gov­er­nance and demon­strate the cen­tral lead­er­ship’s firm de­ter­mi­na­tion to fight against cor­rup­tion. As such, a key job of the lead­er­ship in 2017 should be to fur­ther strengthen in­tra-Party su­per­vi­sion and im­prove Party gov­er­nance.

Four as­pects of Party dis­ci­pline de­mand spe­cial at­ten­tion. The first is trans­parency. Var­i­ous in­tra-Party reg­u­la­tions have made it clear which is­sues and hap­pen­ings should be made trans­par­ent to Party mem­bers, and those reg­u­la­tions have to be fully fol­lowed from next year, as trans­parency helps pro­mote ef­fi­ciency and curb cor­rup­tion, both within and out­side the Party.

Sec­ond, the re­spon­si­bil­ity sys­tem must be strength­ened. At present, var­i­ous lev­els of Party com­mit­tees are in charge of lead­ing and su­per- vis­ing Party or­ga­ni­za­tions, while dis­ci­plinary com­mis­sions are in charge of reg­u­lat­ing them when it comes to dis­ci­pline. So both types of or­ga­ni­za­tions must strengthen their su­per­vi­sion. And the Party com­mit­tees need to lead and check the work of Party dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tees at the same level, while Party com­mit­tee mem­bers should be mon­i­tored to pre­vent them from vi­o­lat­ing dis­ci­pline.

Third, in­tra-Party democ­racy should be pro­moted. The de­ci­sion-mak­ing power of Party or­ga­ni­za­tions at var­i­ous lev­els should be put un­der the su­per­vi­sion of all Party mem­bers, who should be given the right to speak out when they de­tect prob­lems.

And fourth, mod­ern tech­nol­ogy should be used to strengthen in­ner-Party su­per­vi­sion. With the help of the in­ter­net and other in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, it is not dif­fi­cult to su­per­vise Party of­fi­cials and pro­mote in­ter­ac­tions between Party of­fi­cials, su­per­vi­sors and or­di­nary Party mem­bers.

Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy can help in at least two as­pects — pro­vid­ing a more ef­fi­cient plat­form for peo­ple to re­port sus­pected cor­rup­tion cases, and col­lect­ing big data on cor­rup­tion for anal­y­sis. An ef­fi­cient plat­form to re­port cor­rup­tion cases al­ready ex­ists, as the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­plinary In­spec­tion, China’s top an­ti­cor­rup­tion watch­dog, has posted its app on­line us­ing which any­body can up­load their re­ports on sus­pected cor­rup­tion cases.

How­ever, not much progress has been made on big data on cor­rup­tion for anal­y­sis. It’s time the Party es­tab­lished a mech­a­nism to col­lect big data on cor­rup­tion, an­a­lyze them and de­cide which ar­eas re­quire strength­ened su­per­vi­sion.

The au­thor is an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of anti-graft stud­ies at Pek­ing Univer­sity. The ar­ti­cle is an ex­cerpt of his in­ter­view with China Daily’s Zhang Zhoux­i­ang.

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