Tough stance on graft ahead of China's leadership transition

Ahead of a crucial leadership transition later this year, China's anti-corruption czar Wang Qishan has set out the tasks for the anti-graft apparatus of the Chinese Communist Party which included maintaining a tough stance on corruption.

His report on the work of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) and its work plan for this year was adopted yesterday at the close of the seventh plenary session of the party's anti-graft body.

In attendance were top party leaders including President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and parliamentary chief Zhang Dejiang.

Among the tasks set out in a government communique released yesterday was one to "strictly manage the party's political responsibility", including to increase accountability. Another was to "resolutely reduce the amount of corruption" and to contain it.

The statement also noted that ahead of reforms to the party's inspection system, a pilot programme would be carried out in Beijing city, Shanxi province and Zhejiang province.

Earlier on Friday, at the start of the plenary session, Mr Xi had spoken at length, stressing that the anti- graft battle "must go deeper", according to Xinhua news agency. He added that efforts should be made to address both symptoms and root causes of corruption, comprehensively strengthen discipline and constantly improve work styles. "Only by managing the party soundly can we successfully lead the people in handling major challenges, hedge against major risks, overcome major obstacles and solve major contradictions, achieving one victory after another," he said.

As a result of his anti-corruption drive, Mr Xi has become immensely popular among the Chinese people.

Yesterday, the statement also said that the party's "biggest political advantage is its close contact with the people" and that if the party is detached from the people, its leadership would be weakened.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2017, with the headline 'Tough stance on graft ahead of China's leadership transition'. Print Edition | Subscribe