Passing of 2 rules marks progress on strict oversight
Party governance has entered a new age — to govern the Party by rigorous rules and regulations.”
Wu Hui, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC
The strict governance of the Communist Party of China has entered a new era with two regulations passed at a key meeting on Thursday, paving the way for the Party's national congress next year and its future development.
The meeting also declared President Xi Jinping as the Party's "core", a move to further consolidate the top leadership and better lead the country forward.
A regulation on the norms of political life within the Party, and a revision of an intra-Party supervision regulation were adopted at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which ran from Monday to Thursday in Beijing.
Experts said the two rules, with senior officials as the major supervision target, mark a shift from the initial shock-and-awe ousting of corrupt officials to perfecting the anti-graft regulations and mechanism. Details of the two regulations were not disclosed.
"Party governance has entered a new age — to govern the Party by rigorous rules and regulations," said Wu Hui, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.
The CPC passed a revised regulation on clean governance, and another specifying sanctions for those who break Party rules, in October last year. It passed a revised regulation on discipline inspections in August last year.
"By introducing all these rules and regulations, the CPC is moving to institutionalize its anti-graft drive started in late 2012," Wu said.
The initial years of the anti-graft battle saw progress in making officials "dare not be corrupt", but the series of Party regulations will ensure that officials "cannot be corrupt", he said.
In a communique that was released on Thursday after the session, all Party members were called on to "closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core".
Wu, the professor, said the Party needs strong leadership to push forward reforms. "It will be more efficient and easier to overcome difficulties with the existence of a core leader," he said.
Late Chinese leader Deng Xiao-ping coined the phrase "core" leader, saying that every collective leadership needed a core to be reliable. He named Mao Zedong, himself and Jiang Zemin as core leaders.
Zhou Bajun, a senior research fellow of Hong Kong-based China Everbright Holdings, said naming Xi as "core" leader recognizes the achievements made under his leadership.
Xi is now head of the Party and the military, as well as being head of state.
Meanwhile, the task of intra-Party supervision, according to the communique released after the session, is to ensure that the Party Constitution, regulations and disciplines are effectively carried out, and that problems such as the weakening leading role of the Party and loose Party governance are solved.
"Unrestricted power or any unsupervised Party members are not allowed to exist within the Party," it said.
The Party also asked for honesty and loyalty from its 88 million members nationwide. Members shall become more aware of political integrity, keep in mind the bigger picture, recognize the CPC as the core of Chinese leadership and align themselves consistently with CPC Central Committee policy, the communique said.
Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a Brussels-based platform that boosts China-EU exchanges, said a more disciplined and united CPC will serve the country's core benefit and will have a positive influence on the Chinese economy's restructuring.
He added, "China's leadership with Xi Jinping at the core is visionary, as they know the importance of the digital transformation of society and they also know how to better govern the Party and serve the citizens in the internet era, which is encouraging."
The meeting also decided that the 19th National Congress of the
CPC, a meeting held every five years at which a new Party leadership is elected, will be held in Beijing during the second half of 2017.
Given that a major personnel reshuffle is underway ahead of next year’s key meeting, the Party stressed that the selection and appointment of officials must not be contaminated by outside interference or misconduct.
Requesting an official post, honor or special treatment is not allowed under any circumstances, the communique said.
It also underscored that the practice of bargaining with Party organizations to secure a promotion or disobeying any decisions made by Party organizations is also forbidden.
Intra-Party democracy is vital to the CPC and is fundamental to a positive, healthy internal political environment, according to the communique.
The Party’s various responsibili- ties concerning decision-making, implementation and supervision must be done in accordance with the democratic principles and procedures stipulated in the Party Constitution and regulations, according to the communique.
“No Party organization or individual should suppress or undermine intra-Party democracy,” it said.
Party authorities at all levels must conduct thorough investigations and research, and solicit opinions from various sides before making any major decisions or arrangements, said the communique.
The rights of Party members to know, participate in and supervise and their rights in election must be ensured, it said.
Additionally, all Party members should equally enjoy their rights stipulated in the Party Constitution while performing obligations equally, it said.
“No Party organization or member shall infringe upon the democratic rights of CPC members,” the document said.
The communique called on authorities to make it more convenient for Party members to express their opinions and create a “political atmosphere of democratic discussion within the Party”.
Party members have the right to responsibly expose or report any Party organizations or members breaking the laws or flouting the Party’s disciplines, it said.
No Party organization or member shall infringe upon the democratic rights of CPC members.” Communique of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee
Xinhua contributed to this story.