19th Party Congress: China to strengthen anti-graft measures, expand party supervision

China's President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen party ideology, and said cadres need to eliminate incorrect thought. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - China will step up its fight against corruption until a "complete victory" is achieved, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday (Oct 18).

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will also strengthen internal supervision of party members across all levels, he added in his work report to the 19th Party Congress.

"The people hate corruption the most, and corruption remains the biggest threat to the party," he told some 2,300 delegates at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Party discipline and fighting corruption has been top priorities for Mr Xi since he took office in 2012, and he warned that corruption seriously threatens the stability of the CCP's rule.

Mr Xi's extensive anti-graft campaign that commenced that year has to date punished 1.34 million officials, according to latest government figures, and netted more than 200 "tigers" - those of vice-ministerial rank and above.

While some analysts had hoped the president would shift his focus to more pressing areas such as slowing economic growth after consolidating power, Mr Xi had signalled last year that what the CCP calls "intra-party supervision" would be a perpetual campaign.

At the sixth plenum of the 18th party congress last year - the last major meeting of the Chinese leadership before Wednesday's congress - the CCP adopted two documents with the goals of institutionalising anti-corruption within the party bureaucracy, rather than depend on the will of each successive leader to wage war against the persistent graft problem.

The first document put in place a comprehensive set of rules against evils such as nepotism, factionalism and the selling of positions of power, while the second beefed-up internal supervision and oversight of party members at all levels through more inspections.

At the plenary meeting, party members were also reminded to firmly uphold the authority of the CCP's central committee, ostensibly a reminder to carry out in full the directives of the central government after the anti-corruption drive was viewed to have led to passive resistance by some local officials.

Mr Xi also vowed to strengthen party ideology, and said cadres need to eliminate incorrect thought.

"Prominent problems of impurity in thinking, organization and conduct in the Party have not been solved root and branch," he said.

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