Speech at the Second Full Assembly of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee (Excerpt)
October 27, 2016
This plenary session has been a success. We have heard the report on the work of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, analyzed the situation we face in our efforts to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline, deliberated and approved the Code of Conduct for Intraparty Political Life Under New Circumstances and the Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Oversight (hereinafter referred to as the Code and the Regulations respectively), and adopted a resolution on the convening of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, thus accomplishing all items on the agenda.
On behalf of the Political Bureau, I would like to make the following points with regard to implementing the guiding principles of this plenary session and accomplishing our current tasks.
I. Remaining committed to comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline
To implement the guiding principles of this plenary session, we must gain a deeper understanding of what is entailed in comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. After the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Central Committee conducted a comprehensive analysis of the new conditions and new tasks facing the Party and country, as well as new situations and problems that our Party, country, society, and the international community had encountered. On this basis, it came to an important conclusion that a strong, well-developed Party would be essential if we were to succeed in our great struggle with many new historical features, effectively respond to various risks and challenges, and realize the “Two Centenary Goals” and the Chinese dream of national renewal. If there were wavering beliefs, weak organization, lax discipline, and slack conduct within our Party, we would be neither able to respond to the tests brought about by our long-term governance, reform and opening up initiatives, the market economy, and the external environment, nor able to deal with the dangers of losing drive, incompetence, becoming out of touch with the people, and corruption. Were that the case, we would not only fail to achieve our goals, but end up with a tragic estrangement from the people. This is the fundamental reason why the Central Committee has reiterated that “our Party’s capacity to fulfill difficult tasks hinges on its own strength.”
Since the 18th National Congress, we have incorporated comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline into the “Four Comprehensives” strategy. This is an inevitable choice that our Party has made in response to developments globally, nationally, and within the Party under new circumstances. Adopting a problem-oriented approach, we have focused on the following aspects in comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. First, we have focused on strict ideological cultivation. We have continued to equip our Party members with the latest achievements of Chinese Marxism, so that they unite with one heart and one mind. We have used ideals, beliefs, and code of conduct of the Party to enhance their ideological foundation and strength, and guided them in reinforcing their ideals and beliefs, thus increasing their confidence in China’s socialist path, theories, system, and culture. Second, we have focused on the strict management of the Party. We have upheld the leadership of the Party, and guided the entire Party in enhancing political commitment, seeing the bigger picture, following the core leadership of the Party, and staying aligned with the Central Committee. We have also ensured that responsibilities in the management and governance of our Party are fulfilled, and made continued efforts to enhance the awareness and capacity of Party organizations at all levels in this regard. Third, we have focused on the strict enforcement of discipline. We have attached primary importance to discipline, strictly enforced the Party’s political discipline and political rules, and urged the entire Party to bear in mind the “five must-do’s” and prevent the “seven types of misconduct,” in an effort to safeguard the solidarity, unity, and coordination of the entire Party. Fourth, we have focused on the strict management of officials. We have adhered to sound criteria for official appointments, deepened the reform of the personnel management system for officials, refrained from selecting officials solely based on votes, examination scores, GDP growth rates, or age, and rectified undesirable tendencies in personnel appointment, thereby improving the environment for personnel selection and appointment. Fifth, we have focused on the strict management of conduct. We have urged senior officials to lead by example, and made tireless efforts to resolve problems that were once considered unresolvable, thereby improving Party and government conduct on a constant basis. Sixth, we have focused on strictly combating corruption. Maintaining a zero-tolerance stance on corruption, we have upheld the principle of not only caging the “tigers” but also swatting the “flies” by building a sturdier institutional cage. In particular, we have rooted out corrupt officials such as Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou, and Ling Jihua, thus effectively curbing the spread of corruption.
Following several years of efforts, we have made important progress in comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline, integrity and conduct within our Party are improving, and so is the atmosphere in society as a whole. These changes are comprehensive, profound, far-reaching, and encouraging, and they have provided an enormous positive boost for the cause of the Party and the country. This shows that the CPC Central Committee’s strategic decision to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline is in every way correct and has won the support of the Party and the people.
At the same time, however, we are clearly aware of the complexity of our Party’s governing environment, its composition, and factors that may undermine its advanced nature and purity. Some deep-rooted problems in our Party have yet to be fundamentally resolved; some old problems may still recur; and new situations and new problems have been encountered. In addition, some Party members and officials have yet to fully understand the need to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline, to adapt their thinking to this effort, and to act more consciously in this regard. The entire Party must be aware that if we do not manage our Party effectively and govern it with the necessary stringency, and if problems within our Party that the public feel most strongly about go unsolved, the foundations of our Party’s governance will be shaken and disintegrated; likewise, if we allow for the recurrence of problems that are beginning to be resolved, we will lose the people’s trust, and our Party will face even greater dangers. There is no need to be fearful of problems; what is really fearful is helplessness in dealing with them and inadequate efforts to resolve them. As an old saying goes, “Those who give up halfway will meet with no success, and those who slacken their efforts will realize no gain.” Therefore, the entire Party must maintain strong strategic resolve, give top priority to strict discipline in a genuine, brave, and constant effort to manage the Party, and integrate the requirement of strict discipline into all aspects of Party-building.
At present, China is in the decisive phase of its push to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the Chinese nation is at a critical juncture in its drive towards renewal. China has entered the deep end of reform and a new normal of economic development, with various problems overlapping and risks mounting. Due to new changes in the world balance of power and profound adjustments in the world economy, China is confronted with a more complex and daunting international environment than before, as well as various obstacles and pitfalls on the road ahead. Under such domestic and international circumstances, if we are to gain the upper hand, seize the initiative, and win the future, it is essential that we make the Party even stronger, enabling it to bring together the people in an effective effort to respond to major challenges, withstand major risks, overcome major obstacles, and address major problems.
Our efforts to comprehensively govern the Party with strict discipline should be made in a thorough manner and yet with focuses. Emphasis should be placed on improving and regulating intraparty political activities and enhancing the Party’s internal oversight. Tightening intraparty political conduct constitutes the foundation for comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. To ensure that the Party supervises its own conduct and runs itself according to a strict code of conduct, we must begin by strictly regulating its internal political behaviors and activities. The CPC’s position of governance dictates that internal oversight plays the most fundamental and principal role among all forms of oversight by the Party and state. Only by using the Party’s internal oversight to promote other forms of oversight and improve the oversight system can we provide a strong institutional guarantee for comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. The Code and the Regulations adopted at this plenary session are inherently linked and mutually reinforcing, representing important institutional and legal guarantees for comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline.