China's ruling party: Corruption threatens country's existence

China's ruling party: Corruption threatens country's existence

China's ruling Communist Party, which has just accomplished its once-in-a-decade leadership change, has identified corruption and incompetence as major problems threatening its existence and called for a "serious political battle" to fight them.

The party must fight corruption and make its prevention a "serious political battle" both for itself and the country, a report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Party submitted at the just concluded 18th Party Congress here has said.

In his address to the Congress on November 8, outgoing President Hu Jintao had said corruption is  threatening the existence of the Party as well as the country.

The Party has appointed a top economist and leader, Wang Qishan as the new head of the Commission on graft calling for a major crackdown against corruption in the next five years.

Wang who held the first meeting of the Commission called for a strengthened fight against corruption in order to build a clean Party.

The discipline watchdog will target Party members' unhealthy practices, he said and asked officials to refrain
from mediocrity, indiscipline and luxurious lifestyles.

Wang said efforts should be made to make the Party's political discipline strict and enforce supervision over the implementation of major policies of the CPC Central Committee.

The document on corruption released to the media here today said "dangers facing the Party have become more prominent, such as a sit-back-and-relax mentality, incompetence, disconnection with the people, and  corruption".

According to it corruption cases occurred frequently, particularly in certain regions and government departments, some of which involved huge sums of money and many corrupt officials, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Those involving medium and high-ranking officials exerted threatening influence, it said.

Corruption had become more complicated and camouflaged, while supervisory and prevention systems were still fledgling, it pointed out.

Some officials leveraged their power for illegal gains for their spouses, children, and other relatives while some had distanced themselves from the public, and were indulging in bureaucracy and extravagance; even defying Party discipline.

Ahead of the Congress the New York Times had reported that outgoing Premier, Wen Jiabao's family has amassed wealth over $2.7 billion. Wen denied it and asked for a probe. Bloomberg news agency reported that the new leader Xi Jinping's family too has accumulated large wealth. Chinese officials dismissed these reports as a smear campaign.

Meanwhile, Xi in an article published in the official media said "nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards". The CPC Constitution is the Party's "fundamental charter" and is a "general regulation" that must be followed by the whole Party, he added in the article.