“The people resent corruption most; and corruption is the greatest threat our Party faces. We must have the resolve and tenacity to persevere in the never-ending fight against corruption. Only by intensifying efforts to address both the symptoms and root causes of corruption – by making sure that officials are honest, government is clean and political affairs are handled with integrity – can we avoid history’s cycle of rise and fall and ensure the long term stability of the Party and the country.
Currently, the fight against corruption remains grave and complex: we must remain as firm as a rock in our resolve to build on the overwhelming momentum and secure a sweeping victory. We will continue to see that there are no no-go zones, no ground is left unturned and no tolerance is shown for corruption. We will impose tight restraints, maintain a tough stance, and a long-term deterrence, punish both those who take bribes, and those who offer them, and prevent interest groups from arising within the Party”.
Xi’s starting point is the people not the Party. The Party serves the people. The people resent corruption and the Party is severely damaged and the realisation of its long term goals is jeopardised if corruption is allowed to take root. So, the fight against corruption is relentless lest corruption takes hold, the Party’s reputation is damaged and the goal of achieving socialism with Chinese characteristics becomes unattainable.
I always advise people interested to know more about China to listen to what the Party leaders say and observe what actions they take. Take the Chinese at their word and you will come to appreciate the function and purpose of the Communist Party and here on this most important principle the first word used by Xi is the “people”. The cause of the Party, its goals and purpose and function begin and end with the people. Being a member of the Party makes you a servant of the people. You work for their benefit. So, corruption must be rooted out. Corrupt officials must be exposed and removed from office and the people need to see that this process is unending. Corruption is an ever present threat and the fight against corruption is an equally ever present activity.
In the West people are led to believe that the fight against corruption is just “a fight by the Xi clique against its rivals, a fight for power” and nothing more. That is how inner party struggles take place in Western political parties and it is with that in mind that people view the fight against corruption within the Chinese Communist Party. They are wrong. The Chinese fight is quite different from the Western fight. Again, read what the Chinese leaders say and not what the “experts” from the West write.
The West is keen to discredit the Party. The Party, say its critics, is a “dictatorship that exploits the people”. The Party sits atop Chinese society and protects its own. The Party “creams off the top”, looks after itself and its members and their families. It does not serve the people but takes advantage of the people. It is undemocratic. It is governed from the top and the party members slavishly follow the dicktats from Beijing.
It is against this background of negative understanding that Westerners view the Party and its role in the development of China. If you go down that path you miss the significance of the role of the Party in carrying forward China’s development and growing prosperity. China could not be where it is today without the Party. Nobody magically whisks 500m people out of poverty. It happens because over the years the policies pursued and implemented by the Party have successfully addressed China’s problems. The Party is held in high regard because of its success and not because of its failure.
By our standards the Party has undemocratic issues but are our standards the right ones, the best ones? By all means extol one man one vote and regular elections and habeas corpus but does it enable the country as a whole to achieve its goals? That is for another day. Today the issue is to see China from China’s perspective – understand its dynamic, its achievements, its goals and – on the other side – its setbacks and its failures because there have been failures and negatives and they should not be disregarded or overlooked. There is always a time and place to review what has gone wrong as well as what has gone right.
But today I commend to you the need for a growing awareness of the leading part played by the Communist Party of China in taking “the sick man of Asia” in 1949 to where it is today – the second largest economy in the world with all that that means for people’s life style and prosperity. China is going forward but do you understand why?