Latest Theoretical Advances of the CPC in the Effort to Eliminate Corruption and Ensure Clean Government

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-20 09:41
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 Interview with Ye Duchu, Professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee

 

 Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC, delivered an important speech at the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC in which he carefully explained the important and pressing nature of a stronger regulatory system for eliminating corruption and ensuring clean government. He added that there are several areas of focus for this work, particularly emphasizing issues such as the pressing need to improve enforcement of regulations designed to combat corruption and ensure clean government. These important remarks represent the latest theoretical achievements of the Party in the effort to eliminate corruption and ensure clean government, and are bound to have a far-reaching impact in the country’s efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government. In order to gain a better understanding of the connotations of this speech, this reporter interviewed Ye Duchu, Professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee and theoretical researcher in Party development.

 Reporter: Hu Jintao has delivered eight important speeches at plenary sessions of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC since the Sixteenth National Party Congress. Please give us your assessment of this speech.

 Ye Duchu: Since the Sixteenth National Party Congress, the Party Central Committee with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary has been working to free up their thinking, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times and work out the general work rules for improving the conduct of Party members to ensure clean government and for combating corruption. In addition, they have constantly enriched and developed the theoretical basis for fighting corruption and ensuring clean government, resulting in a series of achievements in fighting corruption and ensuring clean government. In Hu Jintao’s important speech at the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC he carefully explained the theoretical basis for regulations and actual work to combat corruption and ensure clean government. In his speech he explained that improving the regulatory system to combat corruption and ensure clean government is an important part of improving the system for punishing and preventing corruption and is crucial in strengthening efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government. We must improve master planning and make breakthroughs in key areas, concentrating on developing all the regulations of a sound system for punishing and preventing corruption and focusing on restricting and overseeing the use of government authority through stronger enforcement of regulations. Strengthening CPC regulatory system is in line with the need to broaden and deepen the effort to combat corruption and ensure clean government and in line with the expectations and desires of the people, as well as an important response to the issue of corruption of wide concern.

  Leading cadres of Huangmei County, Hubei Province, watching “the greedy chair” on display at an exhibition on clean government at the county’s educational base on May 28, 2010. “The greedy chair” is supported by three legs, money, a beautiful woman’s leg and a wine cup, and warns cadres with Party membership against engaging in corruption.       / Photo supplied by Xinhua

 The priority level of the effort to combat corruption and ensure clean government was raised at the Seventeenth National Party Congress when it was grouped with improvement of ideology, organizational improvement, improvement of the code of conduct and improvement of the regulatory system as a fundamental task. Speaking at the Second Plenary Session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, Hu Jintao expounded on the importance of improving the system for punishment and prevention of corruption and necessity of setting up a permanent education mechanism for helping cadres resist temptation and prevent decadence, the regulatory system for combating corruption and ensuring clean government, and the mechanism for regulating the exercise of government authority. He emphasized that we must encourage cadres to be more conscientious in complying with regulations through ideological and moral training and make ideological and moral training more effective by improving regulations. At the Third Plenary Session of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, Hu Jintao focused his talk on the issue of strengthening the advanced nature of Party members. He also emphasized the need to strengthen regulations to combat corruption and ensure clean government and make them more effective in practice. All through his three speeches he highlighted his strategic vision and consistent dialectical thinking, which is not only of great practical significance for the actual practice of combating corruption and ensuring clean government, but will also have a far-reaching impact on development of the theoretical basis for combating corruption and ensuring clean government and shows that the Party is fully confident and resolute in combating corruption and ensuring clean government, thus promoting continued progress in this effort.

 Reporter: Hu Jintao talked a great deal about his ideological views regarding the effort to combat corruption and ensure clean government. Can you sum them up for us?

 Ye Duchu: Hu Jintao’s ideological views on combating corruption and ensuring clean government covered a great deal. One view, for instance, was that combating corruption and ensuring clean government should be grouped with improvement of ideology, organizational improvement, improvement of the code of conduct and improvement of the regulatory system as a fundamental task. Another view was that the Party’s ability to combat corruption and ensure clean government is a reflection of the Party’s ability to govern and an important guarantee that the Party will be able to further solidify its position as the ruling party. He also expressed the view that the effort to combat corruption and ensure clean government should be closely tied to the central task, promote improvement of the overall situation and be in line with the actual implementation of the reform and opening up policy and major measures. Another view that he brought up was that we must deepen efforts to improve the system for punishing and preventing corruption to make the effort of combating corruption and ensuring clean government more systematic, comprehensive, balanced and efficient. His speech also contained the view that diligent study and compliance with the Party Constitution lays a solid foundation for stepping up efforts to improve the conduct of Party members and ensure clean government and for combating corruption. He expressed the view that strengthening the advanced nature of Party cadres and ensuring good discipline is essential to ensuring that Party maintains its advanced nature. Another view was that we need to improve regulations to combat corruption and ensure clean government to address corruption and governance issues that cause a great deal of public resentment. He also expressed the view that we need to gradually develop the regulatory system to combat corruption and ensure clean government that is scientific, specifies strict procedures, is comprehensive and is effective. Another view was that we must constantly work to strengthen enforcement of regulations to truly improve the regulatory system for combating corruption and ensuring clean government. Finally, he expressed the view that we must increase awareness of Party regulations among all Party members to ensure that no one is above those regulations and the regulatory restrictions apply to everyone. These views were all derived from actual experience in combating corruption and ensuring clean government and at the same time provided a guide and impetus to ensure success in efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government. The facts show that the CPC has made fruitful efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government since the institution of the reform and opening up policy. There is no basis for underestimating this success or having a negative and pessimistic attitude, even believing that the Party is powerless and does not have the tools to fight corruption.

 Reporter: Can you give us more details concerning improvement of the regulatory system?

 Ye Duchu: The regulatory system is best explained through history. You can judge the overall situation of the CPC from the way it formulates, enforces, oversees and guarantees all the regulations.

 The Communist Party of China has gone through a long process of understanding of how to develop a system of regulations for the Party. The system we are discussing now covers a broad range and is the general term for a system of numerous regulations that encompass the CPC’s basic theories, programs, line and platform that standardize the organizational structure and working mechanisms of the Party and the conduct of individual Party members. The written forms include the Party Constitution and criteria, regulations and rules, as well as guideline documents containing decisions and instructions. The Party Constitution is the basis and summary of all the elements of the CPC regulatory system and is a concentrated representation of the common will of the entire Party, as well as the formal manifestation of the CPC’s organizational beliefs and unified discipline. The regulatory system has continued to grow and develop as the Party develops, grows strong, matures, grows in understanding and gains experience and can be divided into many sub-systems, such as the leadership system, organizational system, oversight system, education system and management system as well as corresponding special functions such as design, enforcement and inspection of regulations. 

 Generally speaking, development of the regulatory system is a systems engineering project, a process of practice, knowledge, again practice and again knowledge, conforming to the requirements of objective laws. From the day it was founded, the CPC has regarded the regulatory system as a powerful tool for consolidating the unity of the Party and ensuring consensus on Party ideology and conduct. 

 Development of the Party’s regulatory system turned a new page in history at the hands of Deng Xiaoping. In his important speech, “On the Reform of the System of Party and State Leadership,” delivered in August 1980, he summarized the lessons of history, defined practical needs from a high strategic perspective and emphasized that the problems in leadership and organizational systems are more fundamental, widespread, and long-standing, and that they have a greater effect on the overall interests of our country. He believed that under certain conditions, problems with the regulatory system were more important than the way of thinking and style of work. If these systems are sound, they can place restraints on the actions of bad people; if they are unsound, they may hamper the efforts of good people or indeed, in certain cases, may push them in the wrong direction. It was precisely this speech that revealed the major and far-reaching significance of developing the system and marked the actual launch of the reform of Party and state systems. With reforms of the Constitution and the formulation of various laws and regulations, the country’s legal system was gradually improved. More and more attention was paid to developing the Party’s internal system with the issuing of Guiding Principles for Inter-Party Political Life and formulation of the Party Constitution of the Twelfth National Party Congress. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao have also led the formulation of a large number of important internal Party regulatory documents since the 1990s.

 Reporter: Different regulatory systems are adapted to different targets, and there are differences in specific types, functions and roles. For example, there are normative, obligatory, prohibitionary and authorization systems. Which function of the system do you believe to be the most important?

 Ye Duchu: The basic nature of the regulatory system is restrictive; just as we say education has the power to convince, oversight has the ability to balance power and punishment functions to deter crime and indiscipline, this is how we describe its role. The system’s restrictive force also has the significance of limits, stipulations and standards. In other words, the system stipulates proper actions and how to deal with violations. This is manifested as provisions specifying division of duties, rights and obligations as well as disciplinary actions contained in the Party Constitution and the regulations contained in the various specific sub-systems. The restrictive force of the system is not a negative passive force, but an active dynamic one. It does not simply restrict people’s actions, but also has the active functions of guiding and encouraging people, safeguarding and guaranteeing rights and mobilizing people.

 Something written on a piece of paper does not mean that it will actually be effective, and this is the problem that has occurred in the execution of the regulations. A system with regulations that are not carried out or not strictly carried out does not have much practical significance. Some people have proposed assessing the effectiveness of all the systems, assigning an effectiveness rating and working out the factors that increase or decrease effectiveness, as well as the conditions that cause the effectiveness to strengthen or become weak. Experience has shown that the effectiveness of the system is not permanent and unchanging. A system can be made more effective or less effective, and effective and ineffective, barely effective and highly effective elements are found in the same system.

 The Party has made great progress in developing the regulatory system since the institution of the reform and opening up policy. The Party has now set up a Party regulatory system based on the Party Constitution, centered on democratic centralism and composed of a number of concrete sub-systems. Development of the system for punishing and preventing corruption has now entered an important stage in which we are establishing a permanent ideological education mechanism, a regulatory system for combating corruption and ensuring clean government and a mechanism for overseeing the exercise of power. Hu Jintao’s emphasis on strengthening execution of the regulations and strengthening the effectiveness of the system at this time will undoubtedly greatly promote the development of the Party’s regulatory system.

 Reporter: What did Hu Jintao mean when he said, “no one is above these regulations and the regulatory restrictions apply to everyone?”

 Ye Duchu: This is a major issue of principle that is an inevitable conclusion rooted in the Party’s nature, general objectives and ruling philosophy. Speaking at the Eighth National Party Congress, Deng Xiaoping emphasized that, the Party “never regards the mass as its tools, but conscientiously regards itself as their tool for carrying out their given historic mission in a given historical period.” This description is taken as our motto by the overwhelming majority of Party members, especially leading cadres. The Party Constitution formulated and passed at the Twelfth National Party Congress contains an important provision which is still in effect today: “members of the Communist Party of China are at all times ordinary members of the working people. Communist Party members must not seek personal gain or privileges, although the relevant laws and policies provide them with personal benefits and job-related functions and powers”; “There shall be no privileged Party members who do not participate in the regular activities of the Party organization and do not accept supervision by the masses inside and outside the Party.” The Party Constitution as approved at the Fourteenth National Party Congress, Sixteenth National Party Congress and Seventeenth National Party Congress contained new and higher requirements in the provisions defining the basic conditions for cadres. The main objective of these changes was to emphasize that leading cadres have no special privileges before the regulatory system.

 The development path of the regulatory system of the CPC will become wider and wider as we develop socialist democratic politics and make progress in instituting the rule of law and the phenomenon of Party members having special privileges and seeking personal gain will gradually be reduced until it is reduced to the minimum. You can count on that.

 Reporter: Thank you for allowing us to interview you!

(From Qiushi in Chinese, No. 11, 2010)


Note: Interview conducted by Li Chuanzhu, a reporter of Qiushi Journal

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