China's top anti-graft authority has pledged to maintain a tough stance on corruption in 2017 and promote "comprehensively and strictly governing the Party" to go deeper.
Efforts are needed to maintain a sound intra-Party political environment and prepare for the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress to be held this year, according to a communique released after the seventh plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) held from January 6 to 8.
The communique called for strengthened intra-Party supervision and strict procedures for official selection and promotion, so as to guarantee selection of clean officials for central and local governments.
"Trust cannot take the place of supervision," said the communique, adding that discipline inspection agencies should integrate self-discipline with other forms of supervision, including supervision within the Party and by the society.
Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping spoke at the meeting, which was also attended by leaders including Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.
The plenum also deliberated and passed work rules for discipline inspection organs.
The rules clarify procedures regarding the handling of cases, such as the collection and verification of facts, case filing, case hearing, and how to dispose money and goods involved in the case.
Adherence to CPC Leadership
"It is a must to conform with the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as the core, and maintain solidarity and unity of the Party," said the communique.
To uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core is the basic guarantee for adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, it said.
To strictly govern the CPC, the communique emphasized to strengthen disciplines in intra-Party political life and reinforce supervision within the Party.
National Supervisory Commission Planned
According to the communique, China will establish a national supervisory commission and push the stipulation of a law on national supervision, as part of efforts to reform the state supervisory system.
China has begun to pilot supervisory system reform in Beijing Municipality and the provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang.
The pilot work will see the establishment of local supervisory commissions at three levels - provincial, municipal and county - in order to form an integrated supervision system that will be "unified, authoritative and efficient," the communique said.
The new supervisory system will integrate the functions of current supervision authorities, corruption prevention agencies, as well as departments for handling bribery and dereliction of duty cases or the prevention of duty-related crimes under procuratorates at various levels, it said.
Zhuang Deshui, an expert with Peking University, said the new national supervisory commission system will be the key point of this year's anti-corruption drive, and more substantial measures are expected.
Gaining Crushing Momentum
"The spread of corruption has been effectively contained and the battle against corruption has gained crushing momentum," Xi said on January 6, calling for strict governance of the CPC systematically, creatively and effectively.
"The objective of ensuring officials do not dare to be corrupt has been basically achieved," Xi said, concluding that a new atmosphere is emerging in the political life within the Party.
Xin Ming, a professor with Party School of the CPC Cenrtal Committee, cited results of a survey as saying that nearly 93 percent of the general public were satisfied with last year's anti-corruption campaigns.
In 2017, efforts should be made to consolidate the crushing momentum on anti-corruption, said the communique, adding that corruption cases at grassroots level will also be dealt with seriously.
Typical cases will be exposed and some confessions of corrupt officials will be made public in order to warn others, it noted.
CPC leadership will be weakened if it isolates itself from the people, and the greatest political achievement of the CPC comes from increasing confidence and trust from the public, said the communique.
Wang Yukai, a professor with Chinese Academy of Governance, said the public are most concerned about corruption at grass-roots level, which directly harms their interests and must be increasingly monitored and dealt with.
He mentioned that a total of 16,487 government staff were punished due to misconduct and embezzlement in poverty relief work between January and November last year.
The communique also vowed to ensure the selection of clean and capable leaders for discipline inspection commissions at all levels.
Gao Bo, deputy head of the disciplinary team in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said while the previous anti-graft work removed corrupt officials, the next step should focus on selecting the right personnel with high moral standards and capability.
(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2017)