Governments at all levels must firmly uphold the authority and unified leadership of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, to strengthen strict Party governance and ensure clean governance, said the State Council, China’s Cabinet.
This was the viewpoint of a meeting of the State Council Party Group on Jan 16, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, who is also the Party group’s secretary. The meeting aimed to further strengthen strict Party governance at all levels of governments and better serve the people.
The government must strictly comply with political discipline and rules to fully carry out decisions made by the CPC Central Committee in all aspects of work, said a statement released after the meeting.
Party groups of the State Council and its departments must remain unified around the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core and strengthen Party leadership when performing their duties, which will guarantee sustainable and healthy economic and social development, the statement said.
Systematic innovation should be promoted to fight against undesirable work styles and achieve new results in fully and strictly exercising Party governance, the statement said.
The meeting decided to keep governments at all levels alert and fight against privileges and undesirable work styles such as excessive bureaucracy, to keep officials better connected to the people.
Meanwhile, administrative streamlining should be deepened to curb government power and corruption, the statement said. Fiscal funds must be properly managed and spent to prevent corruption in key areas, such as housing allocation, government procurement and project bids.
The meeting was the latest to uphold Party leadership and Xi’s core status. On the same day, a State Council decree, signed by the Premier, was released to emphasize the central role of the Party leadership in the field of administrative legislation. The decree, which will take effect on May 1, says the State Council should report its plan on administrative legislation each year to the CPC Central Committee.
Strict Party governance has been a long-term policy since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, said Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance.
It’s also a prerequisite for the government to push forward its work and the State Council should take the lead to enhance Party governance, he said.
Anti-corruption efforts should never cease, as stated at the second plenary session of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which concluded on Jan 13, Zhu said, adding that the systematic buildup should be promoted to ensure officials are not involved in corruption.
The State Council’s meeting and decree were in line with Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress (in October) that stressed the Party’s leadership in all areas, said Zhen Xiaoying, vice-president of the Central Institute of Socialism.
Party group of each department should also stay in close touch with the CPC Central Committee and carry out what the central committee has planned, based on its own conditions, Zhen said.
“So, it’s necessary for the State Council to report its major plans, including the administrative legislation, to the CPC Central Committee as a vital way to strengthen strict Party governance,” she said.
Zhen said the Party leadership had, in the past, been neglected by some officials, leaving room for corruption and their failure in carrying out their duties.
Over the past five years, China’s anti-corruption campaign targeted a large number of “tigers and flies”, two terms that signify high and low-ranking corrupt officials.
The government should strive for clean governance and the central government should establish a mechanism from the top that strictly manages the spending of funds to curb corruption among governmental officials, she said.
“My surveys have found that anti-corruption efforts have proceeded well, but some think the government needs to make decision-making and implementation more transparent, especially for those in charge of land and personnel,” Zhen said.