Vital to carry on battle against graft
Stricter supervision, as well as relevant regulations, within the Party is needed to keep all members and the powers they wield in check.
An eight-part documentary, Corruption Fight is Always Underway, which hit the small screen less than a week before the Sixth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China began in Beijing onMonday, has put the focus back on the fight against corruption.
Co-produced by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and China Central Television, the series focuses on many senior corrupt officials’ “depravation diaries” and tearful remorse for their wrongdoings. Their descriptions of how things went wrong in their political life, from bribery to embezzlement of public funds, highlight the need to press ahead with a newnationwide battle against corruption that started in 2012, and strengthen intra-Party supervision.
In the interviews they gave while in detention, some corrupt officials regretted believing they could get away with their misdeeds once they retired or were promoted to high positions. The fact that the corrupt officials, including Su Rong, former vicechairman of China’s top political advisory body, didn’t manage to escape the lawshowcases the leadership’s determination to end corruption and create a healthy political atmosphere within the Party.
The common elements among the former provincial or ministerial-level officials who gave the interviews were the gradual increase in their corrupt practices and the prevailing polluted political environment. Some local civil servants refused to be subjected to the Party discipline, putting their personal interests before public good, because their supervisors had done the same. Some even went further, making nepotism an integral part of their careers and refusing to conduct sincere peer reviews.
Therefore, it is more than necessary to enhance all Party members’ sense of responsibility and discipline in order to keep bureaucratism, extravagance and undesirable practices at bay. As the largest political party in the world and the ruling party of China, the CPC requires its members to stay committed to the Party and the people. And it is almost impossible for them to remain free of corruption without proper Party guidance.
The common factors in most corruption cases add weight to the “irrefutable truth” that unsupervised power eventually leads to corruption, as Party chief Xi Jinping has said. The disgraced officials who were given power by the people to serve the people misused their privileges to solicit personal gains to pursue their illicit and extravagant lifestyle.
Stricter supervision, as well as relevant regulations, within the Party is needed to keep all members and the powers they wield in check. Emboldened by their “special” positions and desire for illegal gains, some officials failed to resist the urge to abuse their powers and have received due punishments.
To prevent officials from following in the footsteps of their corrupt predecessors, all departments and individuals should fulfill their supervisory responsibilities, and implement tougher measures such as disciplinary punishments. They also need to streamline the inspection mechanism by paying extra attention to the “privileged few” who are more likely to abuse power, and encourage citizens to report officials’ dereliction of duty to higher authorities. The author is director of the China Anti-Corruption Judicial Research Center.