Party seeks to boost ties with the public
Updated: 2013-07-19 08:08
By He Na in Beijing and Zheng Jinran in Hebei (China Daily)
Officials from the local water resources bureau at Tumd Left Banner in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region work with farmers from the region's Shatugou village. [Photo by Jia Lijun / Xinhua]
Data from the CPC Central Organization Department show that in 2012, the number of Party members rose by 2.5 million, or 3.1 percent, from the year before.
If corruption among officials cannot be curbed effectively and the relationship between the Party and the people cannot be improved, the rapid increase in the number of Party members may not be a good sign, warned Wei Qingyuan, professor of the China Executive Leadership Academy in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province.
"Luckily, the top leaders realized the gravity of the situation and reaffirmed the importance of the mass line by tackling the problems head on," he said.
Wei regards the mass line campaign as an extension of a series of "humility measures" announced by Xi. They included dispensing with large, orchestrated crowds, banners, red carpets and heavy traffic control when members of the leadership make visits to the provinces or large urban centers.
Meanwhile, tough measures have been implemented to curb corruption and some senior officials have been investigated and punished.
The former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve after being found guilty of accepting bribes and abuse of power. Meanwhile, Liu Tienan, former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Li Chuncheng, former vice-secretary of the CPC committee in Sichuan province, were both removed from their positions after allegations of corruption.
"The top leaders received good feedback from these measures and I believe the mass line campaign will be much tougher than any that preceded it. I expect to see more cases of corruption uncovered," said Wei.
"Our school has designed a number of mass-line themed courses and we will arrange for students to visit villages and hear local opinions," he said.
Zhen said imposing new rules to regulate the behavior of Party members is not enough; the rules must be enforced as strictly as laws.
She also recommended that officials' assets, such as property, should be disclosed to the public. "That can be a precondition of promotion. If officials refuse to allow transparency in their affairs, they will lose their chance of promotion," she said.
Nearly 4,700 county- or higher-level cadres were punished by the CPC's disciplinary watchdog last year, and 961 officials at county-level or above have been referred to the authorities for investigation, according to figures from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Gao said a long-term mechanism to cope with corruption is essential and the rule of law should always be paramount. In the meantime, intra-Party and public supervision are also required, she said.
On July 10, the State Council, China's cabinet, agreed a timetable for the disclosure of government spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips, as well as information on investigations into major accidents. The disclosure date is likely to be revealed later in the year.
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Zhang Yuchen contributed to this story.