Cultivating Political Integrity Is a Major Task of the CPC

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2013-08-20 16:01
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The Communist Party of China (CPC) has long maintained a clear-cut political stance on combating corruption and cultivating political integrity, which are issues of major public concern. In his address to the Second Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, pointed out that, “The Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC set forth the major task of cultivating political integrity, requiring that officials must be honest, the government must be clean, and political integrity must be upheld. These three requirements have set higher standards for our efforts to improve Party conduct, uphold integrity, and combat corruption.”

As an essential requirement for a Marxist political party, cultivating political integrity is not only an indispensable part of our efforts to strengthen our Party and government, but also an important aspect of our initiatives to promote socialist political progress.

In the photo, villager Wang Youqin has a question for his local village and Party committees. Since the beginning of 2012, the village and Party committees of Qianwang Village, Fuqing City, Fujian Province, have held monthly forums on the due diligence and integrity of officials serving in the village. Discussions at the forums mainly cover rules for the election of village organizations, projects construction, the management of village assets, resources, and funds, and the supervision of village affairs. / Photo by Xinhua reporter Zhang Guojun

At its core, cultivating political integrity is about serving the people whole-heartedly. In essence, political integrity is a matter of wielding and exercising the power of the people in an appropriate way, the fundamental criterion being the satisfaction of the people. Therefore, in setting out to cultivate political integrity, our overall requirements are to ensure that officials are honest, that the government is clean, and that political integrity is upheld. With regard to ensuring that officials are honest, we must make sure that government employees are devoted to their duties, that they are honest in serving the public interest, and that they conduct themselves in an upright manner and with sound moral character. Government employees are required to perform their duties in strict accordance with their level of authorization and the stipulated procedures, perform their duties in accordance with the law, and exercise integrity in official affairs. They should consciously observe national laws and the Party’s code of discipline, exercise strict self-discipline, resist various unhealthy tendencies, and oppose all forms of corruption. At the same time, government employees should also set an example in observing core socialist values, commit themselves to a fine working style, and constantly seek to strengthen their moral cultivation. With regard to ensuring that the government is clean, we must make sure that state organs at all levels always put the interests of the people first, safeguard public interests, and guarantee the rights and interests of citizens. State organs are required to perform law-based governance and administration, practice integrity in law enforcement and impartiality in judicial practice, and make efforts to prevent and resolve problems such as lax law enforcement, unfairness in judicial proceedings, and the perversion of justice for personal gain. They must work to promote transparency in the exercise of public power and to make the outcomes of such proceedings publicly available, and respond promptly to public concerns. At the same time, state organs should also practice diligence and frugality, lower administrative costs, exercise government administration in an innovative way, enhance performance-based management and administrative accountability, and work towards the building of a service-oriented, accountable, law-based, and clean government. With regard to ensuring that political integrity is upheld, we need to safeguard the rule of law, preserve order, fairness and justice, maintain political stability and social harmony, and eliminate misconduct in order to create a sound social atmosphere. To achieve this, we need to maintain the close integration that exists between the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law. We need to improve the way that the Party exercises leadership and governance, promote intra-Party democracy, make people’s democracy wider in scope, fuller in form, and sounder in practice, and give greater scope to the important role of rule of law in national governance and social management. At the same time, we must regard the expectations of the people for higher standards of living as the goal of our Party and government, truly put people first and exercise governance for the people, realize equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all, and foster the values and moral standards of integrity, adherence to the law, honesty, self-discipline, and accountability, in order to create a sound social atmosphere in which integrity is revered. Our efforts to ensure that officials are honest, that the government is clean, and that political integrity is upheld are mutually reinforcing in nature, coming together as one during the cultivation of political integrity in practice.

The cultivation of political integrity is a systematic undertaking that will have a direct bearing on the strengthening of our Party and government on a long-term basis. Taking into account realities at present but also looking to the future, we must strike a sound balance between our long-term strategic objectives and the tasks at hand. On one hand, we need to gain an accurate grasp of how the cultivation of political integrity relates to the initiatives of the Party and the government, so that the requirement of political integrity can be embodied throughout the process of China’s economic and social development. On the other hand, we need to press ahead with the tasks at hand in the fight against corruption and the effort to ensure clean government, with a view to gradually reducing corruption to a minimum.

Stronger efforts must be made to raise anti-corruption awareness, to promote clean government, and to foster sound political ethics, so as to firmly establish integrity as a value that is upheld throughout the Party and society. Without self-disciplined officials and a society that advocates integrity, the goal of cultivating political integrity will be unattainable. Through intensive training, we need to educate officials with regard to Party spirit, Party conduct, and Party discipline, raise their understanding of laws and regulations pertaining to political integrity, and convey requirements on the establishment of political ethics. We must work to strengthen integrity and self-discipline in leading cadres, and urge Party-member cadres to stay true to the pursuits of Communists, so that honesty and integrity may forever be preserved as the political character of a Communist. In addition, major efforts need to be made to launch campaigns to foster a culture of political integrity. By merging traditional virtues with contemporary spirit, we should strive to raise the awareness of rules, rights, and responsibilities among both officials and general public, so as to foster a culture which values and identifies with integrity. This will allow honesty and integrity to be carried forward.

Further improvements need to be made with regard to the conduct of our Party and government in order to create a social environment that is characterized by honesty and integrity. By implementing the eight new requirements for members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on improving working styles and maintaining close ties with the people, we will clearly define leadership responsibilities, strengthen oversight and inspection, establish permanent mechanisms, and take practical steps to ensure that these mechanisms are fully implemented. To maintain the Party’s advanced nature and purity, we will carry out intensive activities throughout the Party on the study and implementation of the mass line, the core themes being serving the people, down-to-earth approaches to work, as well as honest and upright conduct. Through these activities, we will aim to carry forward the Party’s excellent working style and deepen the close bond that the Party shares with the people. Additionally, we also need to devote more efforts to addressing serious issues, focus our attention on issues of major public concern, and resolutely reject undesirable practices such as bureaucratism and formalism, thereby winning the trust of the people through new achievements in our efforts to improve Party conduct.

Mechanisms for restricting and monitoring the exercise of power need to be further developed in order to ensure that the people are able to oversee the use of power by the government. By realizing the effective restriction and oversight of power, we must ensure that power is used for the people, and not for personal gain. This represents the core aspect of our efforts to cultivate political integrity. To do this, we must keep power behind the bars of an institutional cage by developing punitive mechanisms to ensure that officials dare not commit acts of corruption, preventive mechanisms to ensure that they cannot commit acts of corruption, and supporting mechanisms to ensure that they are not prone to acts of corruption. We must work effectively to check power, delineate power in a scientific way, rationally optimize the layout of the power structure, and regulate the exercise of power in accordance with the law in order to constantly improve mechanisms for constraining the use of power. In addition, we need to improve the intra-Party oversight system, tighten oversight over leading officials, and in particular principal leading officials, adhere to the system of democratic centralism, widen the channels for intra-Party democracy, increase transparency in various fields, prevent and manage threats to political integrity, avoid conflicts of interest, guarantee the people’s right to stay informed about, participate in, express views on, and oversee Party and government affairs, and give play to the positive role of public opinion on the Internet in combating corruption and cultivating integrity, thereby ensuring that power is exercised in a transparent manner in accordance with due procedures.

Efforts to reform and renew relevant institutions and mechanisms must be deepened in order to dig away the soil that breeds corruption. The cultivation of political integrity depends on the impetus provided by reform and on the guarantee provided by the legal system. We need to integrate the fight against corruption into our various reform measures, and deepen the reform of the economic system, the judicial system, and the system for the management of officials and personnel in an attempt to prevent corruption at the source. In addition, we should raise our capacity to apply law-based approaches in the fight against corruption, and step up the formulation of state legislation and intra-Party regulations on anti-corruption. By laying out a 2013-2017 work plan for initiatives to punish and prevent corruption, we should make efforts to formulate and develop various anti-corruption regulations, enhance our capacity to enforce these provisions, and take a step forward in placing our anti-corruption initiatives on a legal footing.

A tough stance must be maintained on corruption in an effort to resolve issues of strong public concern. In the effort to cultivate political integrity there can be absolutely no tolerance of corruption and misconduct. All reported cases of corruption must be investigated, and where corruption is found, punishment must be dealt out, so as to ensure that we not only cage the tigers, but also swat the flies. This dictates that we should not only take stern action against the abuse of power, the dereliction of duty, embezzlement, bribery, corruption, and degeneracy among leading bodies and leading officials, but also address acts of misconduct and corruption that take place in everyday life, so that the general public may feel the tangible effects of our efforts to cultivate political integrity. In addition, we need to uphold the principle that all are equal before Party discipline and national laws, and guarantee that all offenders, regardless of who they may be, are sternly punished in accordance with the law and the relevant codes of discipline.


(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.4, 2013)

Author: Deputy Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC

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