Explanation on the Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life Under New Circumstances and the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight _ Qiushi Journal

Explanation on the Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life Under New Circumstances and the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight

By: Xi JinpingFrom:English Edition of Qiushi Journal January-March 2017|Vol.9,No.1,Issue No.30 | Updated: 2017-Feb-27 16:20
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As entrusted by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), I will now introduce to this session the circumstances surrounding the drafting of two important documents: The Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life Under New Circumstances; and the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight.

In February this year, the Political Bureau decided to dedicate the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee to the issue of comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. Specifically, this would involve the formulation of a new code to govern political life in the CPC under new circumstances, and the revision of the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight (Trial Implementation). For this purpose, a drafting group was assembled under the supervision of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau with myself as chief, my colleagues Liu Yunshan and Wang Qishan as deputy chiefs, and including the heads of relevant departments and local Party committees.

I. Considerations behind the drafting of the two documents

As we were carrying out our campaigns to promote and practice the principle of serving and relying on the people and the “Three Stricts and Three Honests,” a number of Party members suggested that a document be formulated to tighten and better regulate political life within the CPC under new circumstances.

On January 12, 2014, I issued a formal directive to Liu Yunshan and Wang Qishan, in which I made the following comments: “The Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life, formulated in 1980, played an important historical role in restoring and bolstering intraparty democracy, preserving the centralized uniformity of the CPC, enforcing Party discipline, enhancing the solidarity of the CPC, setting things right politically, ideologically, organizationally, and in terms of conduct, and shifting the focus of the CPC against the historical backdrop of that time. Today, this code still provides important practical guidance for our efforts to tighten and regulate political life within the CPC and carry forward our Party’s fine traditions and work style.” However, “a great deal has changed over the past 30 years, including not only our situation and tasks but also circumstances within the Party. Despite having yielded a wealth of achievements and experience in Party-building, we have also encountered a host of new situations and problems. Please consider whether the Central Committee should, at an appropriate time, draft a resolution on regulating and improving political life within the Party under new circumstances, to set forth new requirements in this regard.”

The Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight (Trial Implementation), on the other hand, were first promulgated on December 31, 2003. These regulations have played a positive role in enhancing CPC internal oversight and guaranteeing the solidarity and unity of the Party. However, as circumstances have evolved and our tasks have changed, it has become evident that these regulations are no longer suited to our current initiatives and requirements. Changing circumstances dictate that revisions are needed. This means designing institutions in accordance with responsibilities, developing these institutions into an overall framework, and enhancing the oversight of higher-level Party organizations over lower-level organizations and officials, so as to ensure that responsibilities are clearly defined and designated and institutions are effective and workable. 

People charged with the task began preparing for the formulation and revision of these two documents some time ago. In 2014, a task force began to study the question of improving political life within the Party, producing initial results. Meanwhile, pursuant to requirements laid out by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) at its fifth and sixth plenary sessions, CCDI organs convened seven special sessions to discuss the revision of regulations on CPC internal oversight.

These preliminary efforts were highly fruitful. Based on a comprehensive analysis of these results, the Political Bureau decided to dedicate a plenary session of the Central Committee to the topic of comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. This decision was based on the following considerations.

First, this decision was necessitated by the “Four Comprehensives” strategy, a strategy which represents a new approach to national governance adopted by the Central Committee after the Party’s 18th National Congress in 2012. Framed in the overall strategic context of our “Two Centenary Goals” and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, this strategy has been developed on the basis of both domestic and international considerations, and in line with the newest trends of China’s development. It is a strategic choice that will facilitate our reform, opening up, socialist modernization, as well as our efforts to uphold and develop Chinese socialism in a new era.

The 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened its Sixth Plenary Session in Beijing from October 24-27, 2016. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER PANG XINGLEI

The third, fourth, and fifth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee have been respectively dedicated to comprehensively deepening reform, comprehensively advancing the rule of law, and comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society. Accordingly, the Central Committee has dedicated its sixth plenary session to the topic of comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline, with a focus on the formulation and revision of these two documents. With this, each “comprehensive” has now been discussed and planned out at its own dedicated plenary session. This represents an overall agenda the CPC Central Committee has set for its plenary sessions in line with the “Four Comprehensives” strategy.

Second, this decision was necessitated by our effort to comprehensively govern the CPC with strict discipline. This has been the key focus of our Party-building initiatives since the 18th National Congress. China’s success hinges on the CPC, and especially on the principle that the CPC should supervise its own conduct and run itself according to a strict code of discipline. As we engage in a great struggle with many new historical features, and strive to advance the great cause of Chinese socialism under new circumstances, it is imperative that we intensify our efforts to promote the grand new undertaking of Party-building and commit to comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline, ensuring that the CPC is developed and managed soundly. This means preserving the CPC’s advanced nature and purity, enhancing its creativity, cohesiveness, and capabilities, improving its capacity to lead and govern, and ensuring that it remains the firm leading core of Chinese socialism.

Improving and regulating political life within the CPC, and enhancing CPC internal oversight, constitute important aspects of our Party-building under new circumstances, as well as important means of comprehensively governing the Party. An important lesson that our Party has learned from its Party-building initiatives is that we must always reflect on our past experiences and successful practices, and make innovations thereupon in line with the new situations, tasks, and practical needs before us. Therefore, it is essential that we make use of our time at the sixth plenary session to reflect on our theories and practices with regard to enforcing Party discipline in recent years, especially since the 18th National Congress. We need to look at which theories and practices have been validated and should be continued in the long term. We need to look at which ones can be further improved, elevated as institutions and rules, and codified in the form of Party regulations. And we need to look at which require further development in line with new conditions. The Central Committee’s decision to formulate the code and revise the regulations at the same time represents an important arrangement made with the aims of strictly governing the Party and strengthening the Party ideologically while governing it institutionally.

Third, this decision was necessitated by pronounced problems within our Party. Generally speaking, the political environment within the CPC has long been sound. However, recently, prominent problems have arisen that must be addressed urgently. These problems are mainly as follows: among some Party members, officials, and even high-ranking officials, there has been a wavering of ideals and beliefs, disloyalty to the Party, failure to observe discipline, estrangement from the people, as well as arbitrariness, falsification, incompetence, inertia, and nonfeasance; there has been varying degrees of individualism, decentralism, liberalism, “nice guy” mentality, sectarianism, “mountain-stronghold” mentality, and money-worshipping; there has been blatant practices of going through the motions, excessive bureaucracy, self-indulgence, pleasure-seeking and extravagance; there has been cronyism, cultivating of connections for promotion, buying and selling of official posts, and rigging of elections by paying for votes, despite repeated attempts to prevent these from happening; and there has been widespread abuse of power, embezzlement and bribery, moral degeneration, and violations of the law and codes of discipline. In particular, due to their growing political ambitions and lust for power, a handful of senior officials have hatched political plots by feigning compliance with policies while acting in opposition to them and forming self-serving cliques in pursuit of power and position. Such misconduct has severely undermined our Party’s political principles and moral foundations, its solidarity, centralism, and unity, its image and internal political environment, and the very cause of our Party and our people. The grave problems exposed by the cases of Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou, and Ling Jihua were not just financial, but political as well, and they have given us much food for thought. We now realize that in order to resolve outstanding problems within our Party, we must give top priority to fostering political integrity and to creating a clean political environment. As I have said before, “A sound political environment is essential for success in any effort. A dirty political environment indicates a bad environment for governance, while a clean political environment indicates a good environment for governance. Political environments are just like natural environments: they can be polluted as the result of even the slightest negligence, and a high price must be paid if we are to restore them.”

CPC internal oversight represents an important aspect of Party-building, and an important foundation for comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. Having long emphasized the importance of CPC internal oversight, the CPC Central Committee has taken effective measures and managed to achieve a great deal in this regard. However, there have also been problems, mainly the following: In some localities and departments, the leadership of the Party has been weakened, Party-building has gone absent, and efforts to govern the Party have been inadequate; there has been apathy towards the principles of the Party, weak organization, and lax discipline among some Party members and officials; and some Party organizations, members, and officials have failed to observe the CPC Constitution and have disregarded the Party’s code of political discipline and organizational principles. The emergence of these problems in recent years is largely attributable to loose, lax, and soft standards in the administration and governance of the Party. In a bid to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline, we must fundamentally address the absence of leadership and oversight responsibilities for strict self-governance, and resolve the problem of loose, lax, and soft standards in the administration and governance of the Party. We must identify the strengthening of CPC internal oversight as a foundation initiative for Party-building, and fully exert the institutional advantage of such internal supervision.

Since the 18th National Congress in 2012, we have launched a highly focused effort to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline. Taking a series of new steps to enhance the administration and governance of our Party, we have continued to implement a strict code of discipline and address both the symptoms and root causes of disciplinary problems. We have strictly enforced political discipline and political rules and resolutely curbed the spread of corruption. And we have worked to develop systems to ensure that officials dare not, cannot, and have no desire to commit acts of corruption. We have also worked to ensure that leadership and oversight responsibilities for strict self-governance are properly assumed at all levels of the Party, in a bid to resolve prominent problems within our ranks. As a result of these efforts, we have created new vistas in intraparty political life, seen remarkable improvements in our Party’s political environment, and won the full support of the Party and society.

Though many issues within our Party have been resolved, we need to realize that problems still exist. Some problems have yet to be totally resolved, and others could potentially emerge again. We must therefore make a continued effort to prevent and resolve pronounced problems within the Party ideologically, politically, organizationally, institutionally, and in terms of conduct. In particular, against the backdrop of major changes internationally and domestically, the conditions of our Party’s governance have changed remarkably. The “four tests” (long-term governance, reform and opening up, developing the market economy, and responding to the external environment) and “four dangers” (losing drive, incompetence, becoming out of touch with the people, and corruption) that our Party faces are complex, serious, and long-term in nature. If we are to resolve prominent problems within our Party and effectively defuse the major challenges and dangers facing us, it is essential that we improve our regulations and institutions and build a sturdier institutional cage. This way, we will not only provide thorough and effective solutions to existing problems, but also prevent new problems from emerging and spreading and past problems from reoccurring. 

To sum up, in light of our new circumstances and tasks, we may say that the time is ripe and the conditions are right for the formulation of a new code of conduct for intraparty political life, and for the revision of regulations on CPC internal oversight. This is a highly significant move, one that is urgently needed. 

II. The process for drafting the two documents 

On March 1st this year, the CPC Central Committee issued a formal notice to solicit opinions on its proposition to study the topic of regulating and improving intraparty political life and revising the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight (Trial Implementation) at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The drafting group called its first full meeting, officially commencing the drafting work.

According to the feedback we received, the relevant localities, departments, and parties were in agreement that the decision to dedicate the Sixth Plenary Session to comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline, and formulating and revising relevant documents demonstrated the Central Committee’s strong determination to strictly govern the Party and its historical responsibility in this regard. They held that this decision reflected the common will of the Party, and that it would have extremely important implications for resolving major problems within the Party and ensuring that the Party remains the firm leading core of the cause of Chinese socialism.

There was general agreement that in order to carry out earnest political activities and strengthen CPC internal oversight, it was important not only that we carried forward the fine traditions and basic regulations our Party has fostered over many years, but also that we updated the content, scope, orientation, goals, principles, requirements, methods, and means of intraparty political life and supervision in view of new situations and tasks, so as to bring intraparty political life and supervision under prescribed institutions, standards, and procedures.

We received a large number of constructive comments and suggestions on regulating and improving intraparty political life and enhancing CPC internal oversight under new circumstances, many of which were adopted by the drafting group after careful review.

Over the past eight months, the drafting group has carried out dedicated surveys and research, solicited a broad range of comments and suggestions, and discussed revisions to the draft documents. During this time the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau convened three times and the Political Bureau met twice to discuss the draft documents. In early August, the drafts were made available to a selected number of Party members, including retired senior officials, for their comments; and a meeting was held to hear comments from leaders of other political parties, the heads of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and also prominent citizens without party affiliation.

The feedback we received demonstrated the full endorsement of the various localities, departments, and parties who were asked to comment. In their opinion, the two documents fully embody the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress and the third, fourth, and fifth plenary sessions of the 18th Central Committee; adhere to the basic principles of the CPC Constitution; reflect profoundly on past experiences in Party-building; confront outstanding problems in intraparty political life at present; set forth explicit requirements for tightening intraparty political life; and identify specific regulations for enhancing CPC internal oversight, thus setting forth the fundamental principles for our efforts to regulate and improve intraparty political life and enhance CPC internal oversight under new circumstances.

The general view was that the two documents stood out for their close integration of tradition and innovation. On the one hand, the documents take stock of our past experiences and lessons in Party-building, and carry forward the systems, rules, and fine traditions our Party has fostered over a long period of time. On the other hand, the documents summarize the Central Committee’s initiatives to strictly govern the Party since the 18th National Congress; integrate theoretical and practical innovations in Party governance, and analyze new situations and problems confronting our Party-building initiatives. On this basis, they define specific measures to address existing weak links in intraparty political life and internal oversight, and put in place new institutional arrangements to reflect the demands of new situations and tasks on intraparty political life and internal oversight.

There was unanimous agreement that upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and establishing and preserving the Party’s leading core represent the common will of the entire Party and Chinese people, an urgent requirement for strictly governing the Party and for enhancing its creativity, cohesiveness, and capability, and also a fundamental guarantee to ensure that the causes of the Party and country stay on the right path.

There was also agreement that in making the two draft documents available to a selected number of Party members for their comments, the CPC Central Committee had upheld the principle of intraparty democracy, drawn on the wisdom of the entire Party, and carried forward our Party’s fine tradition of freeing the mind and seeking truth from facts. The two documents stand out for their distinct themes, methodical thinking, rich content, clear priorities, and effective and practical measures, which make them highly insightful, influential, and operable. After being examined and approved by this plenary session, the documents will have a major bearing, both short and long term, on our efforts to regulate and improve intraparty political life, enhance CPC internal oversight, and make Party-building more scientific in all respects; on our great struggle with many new historical features; and on our push to realize the “Two Centenary Goals” and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Many constructive comments and suggestions came from various localities, departments, and parties. A total of 1,955 revisions were suggested. After subtracting similar suggestions, a total of 1,582 suggestions remained, of which 354 concerned matters of principle and 1,228 concerned practical issues. These comments and suggestions were reviewed and studied by the drafting group at the request of the Central Committee. On this basis, the drafting group made important revisions to the drafts of the two documents.

III. Principles for drafting the documents and the basic framework of the documents

The drafting group implemented the following principles during its drafting of the two documents. 

First, it set out to integrate new concepts, ideas, and strategies introduced by the CPC Central Committee since the 18th National Congress whilst carrying forward the fine traditions and valuable experiences of the Party. The drafting group worked to reflect the new experiences that the Central Committee has gained in its efforts to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline, whilst offering new ideas and measures in line with new initiatives, so as to ensure that the documents displayed both innovativeness and contemporary relevance. Laying emphasis on the theme of strictly governing the Party, it worked to strengthen the Party’s capacity to remain pure and to improve, renew, and surpass itself; clarify the orientation, goals, principles, tasks, and measures for regulating and improving intraparty political life and enhancing CPC internal oversight; and impose strict requirements, standards, and measures to raise the entire Party’s self-governance awareness and ensure that responsibilities are fulfilled. 

Second, it upheld the CPC Constitution as the fundamental guideline. On the basis of upholding, implementing, and safeguarding the Constitution, the drafting group tried to spell out in detail requirements on intraparty political life and CPC internal oversight provided in the Constitution. It systematically organized rules and requirements on intraparty political life and internal oversight found in important documents and regulations formulated by the Central Committee since the launch of the reform and opening up drive, particularly in recent years, in a bid to bring intraparty political life and internal oversight under prescribed institutions, standards, and procedures.

Third, it pursued a problem-oriented approach. By taking aim at weak links in intraparty political life and internal oversight, the drafting group sought to establish frameworks on the basis of theories, ideas, and institutions, and design institutions on the basis of powers, obligations, and the assumption of duties, with a view to addressing vulgarization, randomness, and wish-washy practices in intraparty political life, as well as the problems of inadequate institutions and coverage, unclear responsibilities, and lackluster implementation in CPC internal oversight.

Fourth, it upheld the principle of overall coordination. By enhancing top-level design and systematic planning, the drafting group sought to balance the new code and regulations with the old code and regulations as well as other internal regulations of the Party, so that the new documents not only ran in continuity with past ones but also evolved as the times required. By integrating essential principles with practical measures, it not only introduced principled, political requirements on regulating and improving intraparty political life and enhancing CPC internal oversight, but also put forward practicable measures and methods targeted at specific problems, rather than simply trying to cover everything.

The Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life Under New Circumstances consists of 3 sections and 12 parts. The first section is an introduction, which provides a general overview of the code. It introduces the major role and key experiences of political life within the CPC, and describes the problems that currently exist, the situations and tasks we face, and the importance and urgency of regulating and improving intraparty political life under new conditions. It also sets forth targets and requirements for regulating and improving intraparty political life.

The second section deals with specific issues, and constitutes the main part of the code. This section identifies specific requirements and rules with regard to 12 aspects: reinforcing ideals and beliefs; upholding the basic line of the Party; safeguarding the authority of the Central Committee; enforcing the political discipline of the Party; preserving the close ties between the Party and the people; upholding the principle of democratic centralism; promoting intraparty democracy and guaranteeing the rights of Party members; adhering to sound criteria for selecting and appointing personnel; improving institutions for collective activities within the Party; conducting criticism and self-criticism; intensifying constraints and supervision over the use of power; and preserving political integrity.

The third section, the concluding remarks, talks mainly about enhancing leadership and supervision, calling on high-ranking officials to act as example-setters, and ensure the full implementation of all relevant initiatives.

In total, the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight consist of 47 articles over 8 chapters, which are also divided into 3 main sections. The first chapter is the general principles, which constitute the first section and consist of nine articles. These articles mainly clarify the objectives and basis of the regulations, and expound on important issues such as the guiding thoughts, basic principles, content, objects, and means of CPC internal oversight, as well as the strengthening of self-supervision and the establishment of a CPC internal oversight framework.

The second to fifth chapters make up the second section. This is the main body of the regulations, and consists of 27 articles. These four chapters respectively identify the supervision responsibilities of four major actors – organizations at the central level, Party committees or Party leadership groups, Party commissions for discipline inspection, and Party organizations and Party members at the community level – and define the systems for supervision that correspond to each. An entire chapter is dedicated to the supervision functions of Party organizations at the central level. This represents a breakthrough compared to existing regulations, and demonstrates the role played by the CPC Central Committee in leading by example.

The sixth to eighth chapters constitute the third section and consist of 11 articles, which include the integration of CPC internal oversight and external oversight, remedies and safeguards, and supplementary provisions. The regulations do not authorize central departments or local Party committees to formulate their own detailed implementation plans. This is to ensure that the entire Party implements the regulations in a uniform manner, and prevent any attempt to stretch or bend the regulations or implement them partially.

IV. Two points that need to be emphasized

The first point concerns the relationship between the new code of political life and the one formulated in 1980. After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee in 1978, the CPC reflected on the positive and negative experiences of political life within the Party, especially the bitter lessons of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). This culminated in the formulation of the Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life in 1980. In the special period after the end of the Cultural Revolution, this code played a significant role in setting things right politically, ideologically, organizationally, in shifting the focus of the Party, in promoting solidarity and unity within its ranks, and in ensuring the smooth progression of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.

The 1980 version of the code not only provided solutions to the outstanding problems that existed in the CPC at that time, but also summarized the precious experiences that our Party had gained through its long-term endeavors. In this sense it represented a pioneering effort to enrich and develop Marxist theories on Party-building. The major principles and rules it laid out are still applicable today. For example, the objectives and basic principles of intraparty political life; upholding the political line and ideological line of the Party; upholding collective leadership and opposing arbitrary decisions by individuals; guaranteeing the centralism and unity of the Party and observing Party discipline; upholding Party spirit; speaking our minds and ensuring that our deeds are in keeping with our words; promoting intraparty democracy and properly dealing with different opinions; ensuring that the rights of Party members are not violated; subjecting officials to the supervision of the Party and the people; and allowing for no privilege. These principles and regulations should still be observed today.

Why formulate a new code then? In the Central Committee’s opinion, while the 1980 version has continued to act as an important guideline, the fact remains that it was very much geared towards the conditions and major problems of that particular period of time. Many of the prominent problems that currently exist within our Party were not present back then, while many problems from that time have ceased to be prominent. Clear requirements for enhancing intraparty political life under new circumstances have, in fact, already been laid out at the 18th National Congress, in the newly revised CPC Constitution, and at the third, fourth, and fifth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee. However, these requirements are mainly just principles, and need to be listed in more detail. Meanwhile, while the topic of regulating Party life has appeared in numerous normative documents since the launch of the reform and opening up drive, especially in recent years, these stipulations are scattered over many documents, and need to be organized more systematically.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “Order prevails when laws shift with the passage of time; success comes when rules meet the needs of their age.” To regulate and improve intraparty political life under new circumstances, we should not only uphold institutions and rules that proved to be effective in the past, but also introduce new methods and rules in line with new developments. The new code we are introducing is not intended to replace the 1980 code. Rather, its purpose is to identify new rules in accordance with new situations and problems whilst upholding the major principles and rules of the 1980 code. In keeping with this guiding principle, we have reiterated the major principles and rules of the 1980 code in the new code. Running in a continuous line, the old and new codes must be observed in intraparty political life both now and in the period ahead.

The second point that needs to be emphasized concerns officials in high positions. The task of regulating and improving intraparty political life and enhancing CPC internal oversight applies to the entire Party. It is a Party-wide requirement. However, it should be noted that both the code and the regulations lay particular emphasis on the role of high-ranking officials. Our reasoning is that in order to enhance Party-building, we must do a sound job of managing leading officials, especially those in high positions. This applies in particular to members of the Central Committee, its Political Bureau, and the Standing Committee of its Political Bureau. Things will be much easier if we can manage these people effectively and have them set an example for the entire Party. Therefore, we must prioritize the management of these people if we are to regulate and improve intraparty political life and enhance CPC internal oversight.

In line with this thinking, we decided to lay emphasis on officials in high positions when we were drafting the two documents. For example, the first part of the code stresses that, to regulate and improve intraparty political life under new circumstances, emphasis should be laid on leading bodies and leading officials at all levels, the key being high-ranking officials, especially members of the Central Committee, its Political Bureau, and the Standing Committee of its Political Bureau. Officials in high positions, especially members of the central leadership, must set an example in their observation of the CPC Constitution and regulations, abide by the political discipline and political rules of the Party, and stay true to the Party’s cause and continue marching forward, thereby taking the lead in setting an example for the entire Party and society. Everything that is required of high-ranking officials has been given emphasis in the code. At the end of the code, it is further emphasized that efforts to regulate and improve intraparty political life should begin with the Central Committee, its Political Bureau, and the Standing Committee of its Political Bureau. Officials holding high positions must be soberly aware that their positions are of special importance to the Party and the country. The higher their rank, the more they must conduct themselves according to the standards imposed by the Party, and the more they must uphold Party spirit and Party discipline, ensuring that they always remain loyal to the Party and never betray it.

The draft regulations also set forth special requirements on organizations at the central level. For example, an entire chapter is devoted to the supervision responsibilities of Party organizations at the central level. Members of the Central Committee must observe the political discipline and political rules of the Party, oppose any act that violates the CPC Constitution, undermines Party discipline, or jeopardizes the solidarity and unity of the Party, and immediately report such acts to the Central Committee. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee should hold democratic meetings every year to gauge their Party-building initiatives and Party spirit and explore ways of enhancing self-improvement. Members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee should strictly abide by the Central Committee’s eight-point code of conduct, actively attend collective meetings of both higher-level and lower-level Party organizations, truthfully report their major personal affairs to the Central Committee, set an example in cultivating integrity in their families, and do more to guide and restrain their family members and staff members. In addition, complaints against members of the Political Bureau should be submitted to the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau or the Standing Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in written form, or other forms, using one’s actual name.

At the end of the code, it states that guidelines should be formulated for the implementation of the code by high-ranking officials. These guidelines will urge such officials to set an example for the entire Party in observing and implementing the code of conduct for intraparty political life. These guidelines are currently being formulated.

Back when we were soliciting opinions, some localities and organizations suggested that the code be presented in the form of a list of stipulations. In our opinion, the code ranks highly in the hierarchy of intraparty regulations, being second only to the CPC Constitution. This code is a highly insightful, political, and comprehensive document. A lot of explanation was needed to properly summarize the valuable experiences our Party had gained and the basic norms it had formulated with regard to intraparty political life, and to expound on our Party’s principles and standpoints with regard to ensuring earnest intraparty political life. Therefore, we concluded that it would be difficult to fit all this content into a list of stipulations. As for certain specific rules, some have already been clarified in other intraparty regulations, while others will need to be further specified when we formulate other regulations in the future. The style of the new code is similar to that of the 1980 version. 

(Originally issued in Chinese by Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, November 2, 2016)