President Xi Jinping said yesterday that the fight against corruption was grim and complicated but, nevertheless, it had to be solved quickly with “drastic medicine.”
Xi, in remarks to the Party’s anti-graft watchdog, stressed the importance he has placed on tackling official abuse, which is a major source of public discontent.
Xi has made fighting pervasive graft a central theme since becoming president last March and has warned that corruption threatens the Party’s survival.
Xi said: “While we affirm our achievements, we must also see that the fertile ground for corruption still exists.
“The anti-corruption situation remains grim and complicated, the unhealthy influence of the corruption problem is malignant and needs to be solved quickly.”
He urged improving channels for people to report on graft and strengthening supervision and transparency.
Xi stressed that the anti-graft fight is vital for the Party’s integrity in the long term, urging independent and authoritative supervision from disciplinary agencies.
“Preventing the Party from being corrupted in its long-term rule of the country is a major political mission. And we must do it right,” said Xi when addressing the third plenary session of the Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection that opened on Monday.
He stressed zero tolerance of graft and promised to seriously punish every corrupt official that was caught.
Xi urged efforts to ensure “relatively independent and authoritative supervisory power” of disciplinary agencies at all levels.
Authorities should reform the Party’s disciplinary inspection system, improve the anti-graft mechanism and enhance the checks and supervision of power, he said.
“Do not let regulations become ‘paper tigers’ or ‘scarecrows,”’ he said, adding that endeavors would be intensified to hold officials accountable for wrongdoing.
“Every Party official should keep in mind that all dirty hands will be caught,” he said. “Senior officials should hold Party disciplines in awe and stop taking chances.”
The country has brought down both “tigers” and “flies” — metaphors for senior and low-ranking corrupt officials — and mounted high pressure on corrupt officials, he told his audience.
China hailed its crackdown on corruption last week, saying “new progress and achievements” had led to a 13.3 percent increase in the number of people punished last year.
While praising the achievements, Xi stressed that hotbeds of corruption still exist, and the anti-corruption situation is still austere and complicated.
Describing the problem as “a disease that calls for strong drugs,” Xi urged all Party members to continue the fight against corruption until the end with the resolution and courage depicted in an ancient Chinese idiom where a man has to cut off his own snake-bitten wrist to save his life.
Xi urged Party officials to follow a selfless work style, divide public and personal matters clearly, give priority to public matters, discreetly wield their power and lead open and honest lives.
“Problems in work style are always related to public money and official power. Not one cent of public money should be appropriated and not a slight bit of official power should be abused for personal ends,” Xi said.