The Decisive Role of Party Leadership in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-21 09:07
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 Both the past and the present have demonstrated that China needs the Communist Party of China. The Proposal of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development emphasizes that the leadership of the Party is essential if China is to attain the economic and social objectives of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. In order for the Party to fully realize its role as the leading core, efforts must be made to further develop the Party in line with the principles of reform and innovation. The Proposal puts forward tasks and requirements for the development of the Party in four aspects.

 I. We must strengthen the Party’s capacity to govern and enhance its vanguard nature so that it may better lead economic and social development

 First, Party development should be based around enhancing the capacity of the Party to govern and enhancing its vanguard nature.

 Important lessons can be drawn from the fall of major and traditionally strong parties that have maintained long-term rule, and especially from the collapse of Marxist governments: The ruling position of a political party cannot be taken for granted, and the continued rule cannot be accomplished in a single effort. The fact that we have led in the past does not necessarily mean that we can lead today; the fact that we lead today does not necessarily mean that we will continue to lead tomorrow. Similarly, the vanguard nature of a political party does not come over night, nor is it a permanent state. The fact that we were progressive in the past does not necessarily mean that we are progressive today; the fact that we are progressive today does not necessarily mean that we will continue to be progressive in the future. Therefore, the CPC has repeatedly stressed that the entire Party must maintain a state of vigilance and a sense of urgency at all times, and that efforts to develop the Party should never be relaxed. The Party has also requested that efforts to strengthen and improve the Party must be based around improving the Party’s capacity to govern and enhancing its vanguard nature. 

 May 27, 2011, polling clerks counting the number of people present at the first direct election of leaders for town and township CPC committees by means of public recommendation in Chongqing. On this day, the people of Taojia Town in the Jiulongpo District of Chongqing recommended and directly elected all leading members of their local Party committee. Over 500 Party members and 38 public representatives voted to select from 14 candidates. / Photo by Xinhua reporter Zhou Hengyi

 Efforts to strengthen the Party’s capacity to govern and enhance its vanguard nature are inherently integrated in the great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and in the great new program of Party development. A vanguard nature is both an essential requirement and a basic feature of a Marxist political party. It is a constant theme in the development of the CPC. The vanguard nature of the Party must advance with the times. After the CPC became the ruling party, its vanguard nature was embodied in the efforts it made to govern for the people and develop the country’s productive forces on a large-scale. The Party must constantly pursue economic and social development in a scientific way in order to satisfy the ever-growing material and cultural demands of the people. Improving the Party’s capacity to govern is the core aspect of efforts to enhance the vanguard nature; improved governance is both the target and the product of initiatives to enhance the vanguard nature of the Party. A distinctive feature of a ruling Marxist party is the way it closely integrates the development of its governing capacity and vanguard nature and then allows this to play a guiding role in the development of its ideology, organization, style of work, institutions, and efforts to fight corruption. 

 Second, the goal of all endeavors in Party development should be to promote the Party’s ability to lead economic and social development.

 The report to the Seventeenth CPC National Congress stated that “As is required by the Party’s lofty mission of governing and rejuvenating the nation, our efforts to improve the Party’s capacity to govern and maintain and develop its vanguard nature must serve our task of directing scientific development and promoting social harmony.” The Proposal clearly demands that we must “constantly improve the Party’s ability to lead economic and social development.” “To effectively improve the quality of development, Party committees at all levels are required to accurately understand development trends, scientifically draw up a development blueprint, strive to create new patterns of development, and strengthen the overall coordination of development.” This has pointed out the direction and the key points of efforts to strengthen the Party’s capacity to govern and enhance its vanguard nature. It also means that higher requirements have been set for all areas of Party development.

 During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, efforts to improve the Party’s ideology, organization, style of work, institutions, and ability to fight corruption should be effective in improving the Party’s ability to lead economic and social development and effective in promoting scientific development and social harmony. This will have a decisive bearing on the extent to which we can strengthen the Party’s capacity to govern and enhance its vanguard nature; it will have a decisive bearing on the accomplishment of the reform and development tasks of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

 II. We must strengthen the ranks of Party cadres and enhance the capacity of leading bodies and cadres to promote scientific development and social harmony

 Leading bodies and leading cadres are both the organizers and the implementers of the Party’s governing initiatives. For this reason, they are the nerve center and the backbone force of efforts to accomplish China’s reform and development tasks during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. Strengthening the capacity of leading bodies and cadres to promote scientific development and social harmony is essential if we are to improve the Party’s ability to lead economic and social development and ensure that reform and development tasks are fulfilled. Therefore, the Proposal emphasizes the importance of strengthening the ranks of Party cadres.

 First, we must view ability and moral integrity as the major criteria in recruitment, with added emphasis given to moral integrity.

 The criteria we employ in recruitment and the extent to which we emphasize moral integrity will have a decisive bearing on whether we can maintain the vanguard nature of the CPC as the ruling party and whether leading bodies and cadres will become more adept at promoting scientific development and social harmony. In order to ensure the high overall standard of Party cadres, we must regard ability and moral integrity as our major criteria in recruitment. While giving greater emphasis to the latter, we should also focus on the selection and appointment of cadres with genuine abilities, outstanding talent, and especially those with the capacity to promote scientific development and social harmony.  

 In adhering to our criteria of ability and moral integrity while giving greater emphasis to the latter, it is important that we accurately understand the essence of moral integrity for a cadre. By “a cadre with moral integrity” we mean that a cadre is loyal to the Party, the country and the people; establishes correct outlooks on the world, power and causes; acts in a pragmatic, responsible and determined manner; maintains a fine work style and a healthy lifestyle; and upholds a clean and upstanding nature. We should be adept at judging the moral integrity of cadres through their performance of duty, their actions in the face of pressing, difficult and dangerous tasks, their conduct at crucial moments, and through their attitudes toward personal glory and gain.

 Second, we should take various measures to increase the standard and enhance the abilities of leading bodies and cadres.

 We need to take various measures to raise the standard and enhance the abilities of leading bodies and cadres. This is essential if we are to ensure the full application of the Scientific Outlook on Development and achieve the successful transformation of China’s pattern of economic development.

 We should improve the education and training of cadres. This is an important means of raising the standard and enhancing the abilities of cadres. In recent years, the CPC has made constant efforts to train cadres on a large-scale and raise the standard of cadres by a significant margin. Owing to these efforts, both the scale and the quality of training have been improved. However, according to feedback from cadres, training courses are still lacking in terms of specific orientation and practical relevance. Therefore, we should focus on making our training initiatives more specific and more practical. In terms of content, we should address major problems in the ideals, beliefs and work styles of cadres by imparting them with theoretical knowledge and fostering their vanguard nature. We should place a particular emphasis on increasing the capacity of cadres to lead scientific development and promote social harmony. Wherein, training should deal with the new path of industrialization, urban planning, construction and management, public finance management, and crisis management.

 We should emphasize practical training in order to enhance the capacity of cadres. One may say that ability is forged out of practice. As is often seen, leading cadres of outstanding caliber tend to have rich practical experience, especially at the grassroots level. Thus, we must give greater emphasis to the practical training of leading cadres, and in particular, young cadres. We should encourage cadres to gain experience at the grassroots level and become integrated with the people, as there is no better place for them to temper their willpower, cultivate their ability, and bring their role into full play. We should further emphasize the importance of grassroots experience in the recruitment of personnel. Organizations at the grassroots level should serve as a base for the training of cadres, allowing them to forge their character, work style and ability, and helping them to develop close ties with the people. We should send cadres to key positions and areas with harsh conditions and complex circumstances, which will improve their ability to cope with complicated situations and resolve social conflicts. We should switch cadres between different positions so that they may gain more experience and enhance their skills. 

 We should deepen the reform of the cadre and personnel system and improve mechanisms for the selection and appointment of cadres. This is essential if our ranks of cadres are to become more vitalized and more capable. An important aspect of these efforts is to make the promotion of personnel through competition a commonplace practice and develop a system to regulate this process. In order to step up our efforts in this regard, we should allow eligible areas and departments to engage in the competition-based selection of cadres every year. We should refine our procedures for the appointment of cadres through a multi-candidate process. During the appointment process, we should recommend, survey, and consider multiple candidates for a single position, and gradually explore the implementation of multi-candidate elections. We must also ensure that the election of cadres based on competition is a high quality process. Effective measures must be taken to correct misconduct in the selection and appointment of cadres and to prevent misconduct at the source. We should improve the supervisory mechanism for the selection and appointment of cadres, enhance the system for the independent investigation of severe violations, and refine the system of accountability for the selection and appointment of cadres. We should also increase our level of openness and subject ourselves to external supervision by releasing more information regarding the selection and appointment of cadres. Violations in the appointment of personnel must be subject to strict punishment. We should ensure a clean process of selection and appointment through a strict code of discipline.

 We need to improve the way that we evaluate leading bodies and cadres. This is important because it will allow leading cadres to view their performance in the correct light and thereby produce genuine results that can prove their worth in practice, stand the test of time, and survive the scrutiny of the people. In turn, this will allow leading bodies and cadres to become more adept in the promotion of scientific development and social harmony. We should focus our efforts on three areas in accordance with the regulations and requirements of the CPC Central Committee regarding the development of an evaluation system for leading bodies and cadres that is conducive to scientific development. First, we should improve evaluation standards. We should design evaluation content and indices that vary with the location, level, and type of cadres in question. Second, we should improve evaluation methods. In accordance with relevant regulations and laws, we should choose different evaluation methods for different cadres and targets in order to make evaluation more convenient and efficient. Third, we should strengthen the application of evaluation outcomes. Evaluation outcomes should be the basis on which we select and appoint cadres, train and educate cadres, manage and supervise cadres, and reward or restrain cadres. In this manner, we should give full play to the guiding role of performance evaluation.

 III. We need to bolster the ranks of Party members and ensure that Party members fulfill their role as exemplary vanguards in the promotion of scientific development and social harmony

 First, we will promote the development of the CPC as a party that emphasizes study and continue to arm Party members with advanced theories.

 With a view to advancing the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and promoting the grand new campaign to develop the Party, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Party Central Committee put forward the major strategic task of developing the CPC as a Marxist party that places an emphasis on study. Particular emphasis was given to the development of Marxist Party organizations at all levels that place an emphasis on study. This is an important measure that will preserve the vanguard nature of the Party and ensure that Party members are able to fulfill their exemplary vanguard role. All localities and departments have attached great importance to this task, and are making orderly progress in their efforts to develop Party organizations that place an emphasis on study.

 The Proposal further stresses the importance of developing Party organizations that emphasize study. As we seek to apply this guideline, Party organizations at all levels should organize for Party members to study Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. Engaging in this study will improve the capacity of the entire Party to change the objective and subjective world through the application of scientific theories. We must improve the system of study, enrich the content of study, and be innovative in our application of study methods. With a strong sense of responsibility toward the Party, the people and history, Party members should conscientiously raise their application of the Scientific Outlook on Development to a new level; constantly learn from books, from the people and from past experience; raise their level of ideological and theoretical attainment; resolutely implement the theories, principles and policies of the Party; firmly foster a scientific concept of development; actively implement decisions and arrangements concerning the task of transforming China’s pattern of economic development; and continue great efforts to promote scientific development.

 Second, we should continue with our campaign to strive for progressiveness and excellence and thereby provide a platform on which Party members will be able to fulfill their exemplary vanguard role.

 The campaign to create progressive grassroots Party organizations and encourage Party members to strive for excellence is an ongoing effort to develop grassroots Party organizations and encourage Party members to play a pioneering and exemplary role in their work. It is also an effective means of increasing the Party’s capacity to govern and enhancing its vanguard nature, providing an important platform on which efforts can be made to improve grassroots Party organizations, promote innovation in the development of grassroots Party organizations, and boost the capacity of Party members. Striving for progressiveness and excellence has become a widespread culture among Party members since the campaign was launched by the CPC Central Committee in May 2010.

 The Proposal lays further emphasis on deepening the campaign to strive for progressiveness and excellence. To meet this requirement, Party committees at all levels should strengthen their efforts to oversee and lead various initiatives in the campaign. Key leaders should be personally involved, and this is especially the case for CPC committee secretaries at the county (city, district, and banner) level, who should assume the primary responsibility for these efforts. In striving for progressiveness and excellence, Party organizations at all levels should base their initiatives around the central tasks of their respective departments, enterprises and institutions. Grassroots organization should center their efforts to strive for progressiveness around the core tasks of their respective workplaces, while Party members should strive for excellence in their respective jobs. Unique themes and activity modes should be created to suit local conditions and coincide with particular occasions. By exploring and applying various effective measures, efforts should be made to design distinctive activities that win the favor of both grassroots organizations and Party members. Activities should be effective in motivating grassroots Party organizations and Party members to strive for progressiveness and excellence. Progressive role models should provide a source of inspiration, acting as an example and a beacon for the efforts of Party members. Grassroots organizations should integrate their efforts to be progressive into the work of their respective departments, enterprises and institutions. Party members should set a good example for the public to follow as they strive for excellence. As Party organizations and Party members strive for progressiveness and excellence, they will inspire and motivate the people, thereby promoting progressiveness and excellence as widespread social values. 

 IV. We must improve the work style of the Party and strengthen efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government in order to hold Party members together and garner popular support

 First, we should always maintain our close contact with the people.

 The people are the source of the Party’s strength and the foundation of its success. Without the endorsement and support of the people, the Party would be powerless to pursue its missions and its tasks. Working toward the objectives set forth in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan is a common cause shared by the Party and the people. Only when the Party and the people work as one, forge ahead with bitter resolve, and act courageously can we fulfill the objectives of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

 In accordance with the requirements of the Proposal, Party members and especially leading cadres at all levels should adhere to the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, adhere to the Party’s mass line, and always maintain close ties with the people. In addition, they should fully arouse the enthusiasm, the initiative and the creativity of the people in order to form a concerted force behind the implementation of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

 Second, we should vigorously promote the glorious traditions and fine work style of the Party.

 The Party has developed a fine work style over the long course of practice. It integrates theory with practice, maintains close links with the people, conducts criticism and self-criticism, works diligently, avoids arrogance and impetuosity, and remains modest, prudent, realistic and pragmatic. This is what distinguishes the CPC from other political parties, and is an important reason why the Party is able to maintain close ties with the people.

 We will ensure that Party cadres carry forward the glorious traditions and fine work style of the Party. This will be done through ideological education, sound institutions, focused rectification, and strict disciplinary requirements. We will resolutely oppose formalism and bureaucracy, strive to be modest, prudent and frugal, avoid arrogance and impetuosity, work diligently, and engage in practical efforts. We will use the Party’s fine work style to hold Party members together, garner popular support, and thereby promote scientific development and social harmony. 

 Third, we will strengthen our efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government.

 We must make efforts to fight corruption in a comprehensive way. Under this approach, we will combine punishment with prevention while giving added emphasis to prevention. On this basis, we must act faster to improve institutions for the punishment and prevention of corruption and do more to investigate and punish violations of the law and codes of discipline. We will intensify efforts to educate leading cadres on Party spirit, conduct and discipline and ensure that leading cadres are clean, honest, self-disciplined, and closely supervised. The subject of clean administration will be integrated into cadre training schemes. Context- specific material should be used to teach by example, give warnings, and educate cadres regarding their positions. We must build a more effective institutional and legal framework around efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government. To do this, we must manage power, affairs and personnel according to rules, deepen reform in important fields and crucial links, promote innovation, and minimize institutional barriers and loopholes. We must strictly restrain and oversee the exercise of power, strengthen supervision by the general public, and correctly guide supervision by public opinion. This will allow us to effectively bridge supervision inside and outside of the Party. We must strictly implement the responsibility system for improving Party conduct and ensuring clean administration. The performance of cadres in improving work style should be factored into evaluations conducted under this system. The results of evaluations should serve as the basis for decisions on the selection and appointment of cadres.

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.2, 2011) 


Note:Author: Executive Vice President of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee  

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