China's top anti-graft body on Thursday vowed to keep up high pressure on corruption in the new year.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) will maintain a heavy-handed approach against corruption, "with unabated forces and unchanging rhythm," said a communique released after the conclusion of the three-day sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), urging strong willpower and tenacity in deepening the anti-graft fight.
Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping spoke at the meeting. Other senior leaders including Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli also attended the session.
The communique urged all party members to be confident in the achievements and the prospects of the anti-graft campaign.
It listed the achievements of China's anti-corruption efforts in 2015, including full support and participation of the public, intensified supervision and disciplinary inspection by graft-busters, and significant results in chasing international criminals.
The investigations of Zhou Yongkang and Ling Jihua have removed hidden political threats in the Party and demonstrated the CPC's resolve to strictly govern itself, it said.
The communique noted that lingering problems remain, while urging Party members to have a calm and sober mind, confidence and resolution.
The Party will strengthen its discipline and improve the supervision system in 2016, as well as deepen institutional reforms.
In addition, the CCDI said it will continue the inspection work this year, aiming to cover all central Party and government organs. Currently 47 inspection teams dispatched by the CCDI have covered major central CPC and government agencies.
Being strict is love
The principle of strict governing will be upheld to punish the violators and deter the others, the communique said, citing the anti-corruption experience over the past five years.
"Strict governing is a form of deep love, and curing illnesses is done to save people's lives," it said, stressing that disciplinary departments have a crucial role to play in "educating a majority by punishing a minority."
Stressing Party management according to both ethics and discipline, the communique highlighted Party constitution as the fundamental code of conduct for all Party members.
"In order to manage the Party strictly, high standards must be upheld... [if] all Party members pursue these high standards and bear in mind the awe and fear, they will firmly obey discipline and help make the CPC forever clean and advanced," it said.
The document urged CPC organizations at all levels to take lead responsibility in the comprehensive and strict management of the Party, while disciplinary departments were urged to exert full efforts to supervise officials and pursue violators.
"Stricter than the law, Party discipline must serve as the benchmark and unassailable bottom line for the management of the Party," the document said, urging Party groups to warn against potential misconduct and punish violators in a timely fashion.
In particular, the communique noted that those involved in corruption that undermines the people's direct interests will be strictly punished, vowing to strengthen the integrity of the Party's grassroots organs.
Key corrupt officials targeted
The document stressed that corrupt officials on key posts as priority targets of the graft-busting campaign this year.
It said in the general work requirements for 2016 that those who hold important posts and are likely to be further promoted but have not stepped back from their serious corrupt behaviors will be "top priority."
It emphasized the exemplary roles of the "key minority," or officials of high rank, in following the eight-point frugality rules, saying efforts to implement the regulations will not relent during holidays.
The communique specified that those who attend private VIP clubs or organize secretive get-togethers will be punished heavily. For those who attend the gatherings, disciplinary officers will talk with them and require them to review their mistakes at intra-Party conferences.
The disciplinary inspections will be increasingly strict, the communique said, and problems concerning formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance discovered during the inspection will be seriously investigated.
Anti-graft officials will work to reduce corruption and prevent corruption cases from growing. Work also needs to be done to make sure officials "do not dare to be corrupt" and to strengthen the system so that officials "are unable and unwilling to be corrupt."
Greater efforts will be made to pursue fugitives and recover stolen assets as part of upgraded international cooperation against corruption, according to the communique.
The communique also stressed easing public access to supervision of officials.
Outstanding problems such as forceful seizure, extorting bribes and embezzlement, as well as corruption and extravagance in poverty relief work, will be the focus of the campaign.
The communique vowed to build a "loyal, clean and responsible team of discipline and inspection staff" who are loyal to the Party and trusted by the people.
(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2016)