Xi repeats anti-graft message to top leaders

Beijing (China Daily/ANN) - The new Party chief Xi Jinping has urged China's top leaders to root out corruption and asked them to prevent their relatives and intimates from abusing their influence for personal gain.

It was the second time in a week Xi spoke out against graft since being elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Thursday.

Analysts say his remarks are a sign of the new leadership's determination to fight corruption in the coming years.

In a speech to the other 24 members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee over the weekend, Xi urged Party leaders, especially high-ranking ones, to build a clean government, show self-discipline and restrain their relatives and associates.

"A large number of facts show that corruption could kill the Party and ruin the country, if it were to become increasingly severe, and we must be vigilant," he told the political bureau on Saturday as it gathered for the first group study after the 18th National Congress of the CPC ended last week.

Group studies are regular study session of the top-ruling political bureau where the top leaders can exchange thoughts on important issues.

These sessions have been conducted almost monthly since 2002, but it is rare to see the full text of the top leader's speech to the political bureau being released to the public.

In the speech, Xi asked officials to learn from the experiences of other countries, where "corruption has played a big role in conflicts that grew over lengthy periods, and it has led to popular discontent, social unrest and the overthrow of the political power".

"There have been serious breaches of discipline in the Party in recent years. Some of these cases were very bad, and they have had a terrible, appalling political impact," he said.

Some high-ranking officials have fallen from power in recent years because of corruption and abuses of power, including former Party chief of Chongqing Bo Xilai, former minister of railways Liu Zhijun and former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng.

On Thursday, in his first public address as the Party leader, Xi promised to tackle pressing problems, including corruption.

Liu Shanying, a political science researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Xi is addressing the issue in an unusually direct way.

"His words have been shaped by lessons drawn from bitter experience in recent years, but meeting the challenges will not be easy," he said.

Last week, vice-premier Wang Qishan was elected head of the Party's major anti-corruption authority, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC.

Wang handled unprecedented debt restructuring in the 1990s in Guangdong province as the deputy provincial governor, and he was appointed acting mayor of Beijing in 2003, when the city was hit by SARS. He is known for his skill at "trouble shooting" and is expected to work out useful approaches to root out corruption, Liu said.

A report delivered by the Party's top discipline watchdog to the 18th National Congress of the CPC last week addresses a number of issues that have been hot topics among the public in recent years, such as public spending and the transparency of those in power.

The disciplinary watchdog has suggested that Party leaders at all levels "face up to public scrutiny and media supervision and open themselves to being under supervision", according to the full-text of the report published by Xinhua News Agency on Monday evening.

The report also urged Party leaders to respond in a timely manner to hot issues revealed by the media or being discussed online.

In the past five years, Party discipline authorities have punished more than 668,400 people for violations of the Party's disciplinary code, and more than 24,600 suspects have been transferred to judicial organs for further investigation.

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