Xi warns about risks to Party

Updated: 2012-12-28 01:23

By ZHAO YINAN (China Daily)

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China's new leader Xi Jinping has uttered an unusual warning about the cyclical rise and fall of rulers during a visit to the non-Communist parties in China this week.

Experts said the top leadership is aware of potential risks that challenge its power, as well as the determination to promote supervision and socialist democracy as a way out.

"Corruption is one of the Party's major threats at the moment, and others include being isolated from the public and formalism. This can be inferred from Xi's speeches after being elected the new leader," said Liu Shanying, a political science researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

During a visit to the non-Communist parties on Monday and Tuesday, Xi referred to a famous conversation between Chairman Mao Zedong and Huang Yanpei, one of the founders of the China Democratic National Construction Association, one of the eight non-Communist parties.

Mao and Huang exchanged opinions on the rise and decline of dynasties in 1945, when the Communist Party of China was still based in Yan'an, Shaanxi province.

Huang said many dynasties in China's history fell since they were susceptible to sluggishness after staying in power for a long time, although at the beginning they were diligent and frugal.

In response, Mao explained the CPC had found an escape route — democracy. Mao said the governments will never be slack at work if they are under the supervision of the people.

The conversation, which took place more than six decades ago, retains its impact today as an impetus and a warning to the Party, Xi said.

Chen Changzhi, chairman of the Central Committee of the China Democratic National Construction Association, said the new leader's reference to the talk between Mao and Huang shows his deep knowledge about the history of non-Communist parties.

He said his suggestion of working with the CPC to reach a commonly agreed approach to better carry out democratic supervision on State affairs won immediate support from Xi.

Quoting from an ancient Chinese saying "things must have gone rotten before insects can grow", Xi urged the Party to stay clean and self-disciplined.

Xi also pledged to continue the multiparty cooperation system and encouraged non-Communist parties to fully exert their advantages while participating in State affairs.

Lin Zhe, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the central leadership has conveyed cautionary words on many occasions since it was elected last month.

In the first speech Xi delivered as top leader of the Party, he warned against "severe challenges" confronting the Party and many "problems inside the Party that are urgent to solve", including corruption, losing touch with the people's concerns and being sticklers for formalities.

The leadership put forth eight measures this month to cut extravagance and bureaucracy, and provincial Party committees have followed suit.

Xi's words have shown the leadership's concern and eagerness to address long-standing issues such as corruption to ease social resentment, Lin said.

Lin said the leadership has made it clear that supervision is a useful tool to fight corruption, and to improve cooperation with the non-Communist parties to let them take part in State management is a feasible and safe approach to allow more supervision.

It is a tradition for new CPC leaders to hold talks with the non-Communist parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Contact the writer at zhaoyinan@chinadaily.com.cn

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