Top Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party meet­ing starts

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BEI­JING: A key con­clave of China’s Com­mu­nist Party elite kicked off yes­ter­day in Bei­jing, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news ser­vice re­ported, as leader Xi Jin­ping seeks to tighten his con­trol over the party.

Nearly 400 top mem­bers of the world’s most pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal party have gath­ered at the exclusive Jingxi Ho­tel to dis­cuss changes to party struc­ture and man­age­ment for four days.

They will fo­cus on re­form­ing the “norms for po­lit­i­cal life” and the party’s in­ter­nal rules for su­per­vis­ing cadres, Xin­hua said.

The dry rhetoric around the Sixth Plenum, as the meet­ing is known, hides what may be a fe­ro­cious bat­tle for con­trol over the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

“This year’s plenum on party-build­ing is key to Xi’s en­tire po­lit­i­cal project, and could very well turn out to be the most im­por­tant of his first term,” said Trey McArver, China an­a­lyst at Trusted Sources.

It “looks cer­tain to fur­ther con­sol­i­date his grip over the party”, he added.

Since tak­ing its helm as gen­eral sec­re­tary in 2012, Xi has sought to bend it to his will, and taken con­trol of more levers of power than any leader since Mao Ze­dong.

His most pow­er­ful tool for bring­ing the party to heel has been an anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign.

The party’s Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline and In­spec­tion, its feared in­ter­nal watch­dog, said at the week­end that be­tween 2013 and last month, more than one mil­lion mem­bers had been pun­ished for graft. China’s rul­ing party has 88 mil­lion mem­bers.

Xi has felled top gen­er­als in the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army and seem­ingly in­vin­ci­ble bas­tions of power such as for­mer se­cu­rity czar Zhou Yongkang, elim­i­nat­ing po­ten­tial ri­val sources of power.

But it has laid waste to the party’s or­gan­i­sa­tional chart, paralysing grass­roots bureau­crats pet­ri­fied of mak­ing a mis­take, a prob­lem com­pounded by un­clear and con­tra­dic­tory sig­nals on what poli­cies to pur­sue.

New poli­cies will seek to ad­dress “out­stand­ing prob­lems” and com­pel se­nior lead­ers to be a good ex­am­ple for lesser of­fi­cials, Xin­hua said. – AFP

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