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Make Further Progress in Party Self-Governance

Source: Xi Jinping The Governance of China IV Updated: 2023-12-20

Make Further Progress in Party Self-Governance*

January 18, 2022

The year 2021 marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. The CPC Central Committee’s efforts to enforce strict Party self-governance have provided a strong political base for building a modern socialist country.

Ten years have passed since the 18th CPC National Congress held in 2012. A blacksmith in the past would spend 10 years forging a perfect sword. Likewise, over the past decade, the Central Committee has incorporated strict Party self-governance into the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, and pressed forward with unprecedented courage and determination to improve Party conduct, build clean government, and fight corruption.

Some malfeasances that had not been checked for many years have been curbed, intractable problems of long standing have been resolved, and serious hidden dangers within the Party, the state and the armed forces have been removed. Lax and weak governance in the Party has been fundamentally reversed, and we have chosen to rely on the Party’s self-reform to avoid the historical cycle of rise and fall.

Since 2012, historic and groundbreaking achievements have been made in strengthening the Party’s self-governance; this has had a profound impact in multiple dimensions. We should continue this process in the long term and make steady progress.

Over the past 100 years, the Party has ensured its lasting vitality and robust growth by relying on developing people’s democracy and accepting public scrutiny from outside the Party, and on strengthening self-governance and self-reform within the Party. It has had the courage and determination to uphold the truth and correct mistakes. Strict self-governance, a significant element of the Party’s self-reform in the new era, has opened up a new realm for our century-old Party.

To succeed in self-reform we must:

• reinforce the Party’s political foundations as the overarching principle and self-reform as the political direction;
• improve ideological work, which is essential to the development of the Party, and make it a powerful tool for
• implement the Central Committee’s Eight Rules to improve Party conduct with strict discipline, and introduce more measures of self-reform;
• fight corruption and punish wrongdoers with decisive measures, to prepare for a tough and protracted process of self-reform;
• strengthen the political function, organization and cohesion of the Party to build a force that is bold in self-reform and knows how to do it well;
• establish a system of rules and regulations that will help the Party cleanse, improve and reform itself, to
provide an institutional guarantee for self-reform.

Since 2012, based on the Marxist theory of political party development, we have reviewed and applied the experience of our Party gained over one century to further innovations in the theory, practice, and system of Party governance. Our understanding of how to build a Marxist political party fit to rule in the long term, and of what steps must be taken, has risen to a new level. It includes:

• upholding the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee;
• ensuring that the Party exercises effective self-supervision and strict self-governance;
• reinforcing the Party’s political foundations;
• maintaining a resolute stance on matters concerning strict self-discipline;
• working tenaciously to improve Party conduct;
• showing zero tolerance for corruption;
• eliminating all forms of corruption and misconduct that harm the interests of the people;
• focusing on those in leading positions so that they can lead by example in these areas;
• improving the supervisory systems of the Party and the state to form an effective supervision mechanism that covers all areas.

We must consolidate what we have achieved during the education campaign on CPC history, stay true to our original aspiration and founding mission, and open up new prospects for development. We need to study and implement the decisions made at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee in 2021, strengthen education and presentation of Party history, and increase the confidence in the Party, so that our original aspiration and founding mission will truly take root in the hearts of Party members. We should encourage Party members to carry forward the Party’s fine traditions and conduct, stay loyal to the Party and the people through concrete actions, and remain committed to them, so as to achieve greater success on the new journey.

We need to strengthen political oversight to ensure that the new development philosophy is implemented in full, to the letter and in all fields. We must apply the new development philosophy, ground our efforts in the new development stage, create a new development dynamic, and focus on high-quality development. We should guide Party members and officials to fully understand the major policies and decisions of the Central Committee, act consistently with them, and implement them in full. Neither half measures nor superficial compliance should be allowed in enforcement. We must overcome the silo mentality and regional protectionism, and stamp out political calculation, petty scheming for personal gain, and acts in disregard of the rules, so as to ensure that the Central Committee’s decisions and plans are carried out strictly and faithfully.

We must be resolute in the battle against corruption and succeed in our strategic goal of ensuring that our officials dare not, cannot, and will not engage in corruption. We must be soberly aware that the battle against corruption is still fierce and is shifting to unfamiliar terrain. We are facing a formidable task to guard against collusion among malevolent interest groups seeking to tempt and corrupt officials by various means. We are also facing a formidable task to deal effectively with new forms of corruption that are difficult to detect. We must eradicate the breeding ground for corruption and bring about a corruption-free political environment. We must also clean up systemic corruption, defuse risks, and remove hidden dangers. We still have a long way to go.

We need to keep a clear head and bear in mind that the battle against corruption is a protracted one, and we should be ready for fight at any time. As long as the soil and conditions for corruption exist, it will never be eradicated and our struggle will never end. Leading officials should sharpen their political acumen and discernment. Leading officials, those in the higher ranks in particular, should take the lead in implementing directives on strengthening political integrity in the new era, consolidate the foundations of sound values, reinforce their commitment to the Party, and build up their capacity to resist corruption and venality. They should also nurture a healthy family culture and set a good example for their family members through integrity and honest behavior.

The Eight Rules must be reinforced to correct the Four Malfeasances of favoring form over substance, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance, and foster healthy and positive practices. Favoring form over substance and bureaucratism are the archenemies of the healthy growth of our Party and the state. We need to start with leading officials, especially those at the higher levels, and urge them to adopt the right view on job performance, respect reality and the needs of the people, and strengthen systems thinking and rational planning, so as to serve and benefit the people. They must not fail to put an end to favoring form over substance, going through the motions, or launching expensive and ill-considered projects. We must implement the system for evaluating officials and inspecting their work in order to have them better perform their duties.

We must strengthen scrutiny over the implementation of Central Committee policies that bring benefits and security to the people, and address their key concerns in areas such as education, health care, old-age insurance, social security, environmental protection, workplace safety, and food and drug security. We must consolidate what we have achieved in the fight against criminal gangs and organized crime, and in the education and rectification drive for judicial, prosecuting and public security teams, so that people can see that equity and justice are served in every judicial case.

We will strengthen education, management and supervision of younger officials, and train and guide them to be honest and loyal to the Party and the people. They should be strictly and thoroughly educated, managed, and supervised, so as to firm up their ideals and convictions and encourage them to keep in mind the Party’s original aspiration and founding mission. They must exercise power in the right way, maintain self-respect, conduct self-examination, strictly observe discipline, laws and regulations, and start their political career as they mean to carry on. Younger officials must constantly review the Party’s Constitution, regulations and discipline, its theories, guidelines, principles and policies, and our Party’s original aspiration and founding mission, and use these as their yardstick to judge whether any action can and should be taken, so as to guard against corruption and decadence.

We must reinforce the system for overseeing the exercise of state power and improve supervision over discipline compliance and law enforcement, to make supervision more standardized, forceful and effective. Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels should take primary responsibility for internal supervision and strengthen supervision over senior officials, especially those in command and the leadership teams. Discipline inspection and supervision departments should assist Party committees in strictly governing the Party and realizing effective coordination between internal Party supervision and other types of supervision. We must implement the principle of the Party supervising officials, strengthening scrutiny of election of a new leadership, and ensuring that Party organizations reinforce their leadership and supervision in evaluating the performance of officials, especially in terms of political commitment and clean governance.

Departments and officials engaged in discipline inspection and supervision should always be loyal to the Party, the people, and their duties, play their due role in the Party’s self-reform, and carry forward the Party’s best practices and finest conduct established over the past century. Focusing on the overall work of the Party and the state, they should perform their supervisory role for more effective implementation of the strategic plans, objectives and tasks of the Party and the state. Discipline inspection and supervision teams must hold themselves to stricter standards and discipline to sharpen their minds and capabilities. They should strengthen their commitment to the Party, be upright, impartial and prudent in exercising their power, and constantly build up their immunity against corruption. They should readily subject themselves to supervision from the Party and all sectors of society, and always be loyal guardians of the Party and the people.

* Main points of the speech at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)