THIS new era will be an era of building on past successes to further advance our cause, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. It will be an era for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work together and work hard to create a better life for themselves, and ultimately achieve common prosperity for everyone. It will be an era for all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, to strive with one heart to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contribution to mankind. This new era began with the 18th National Congress in 2012.
Fourth, a new journey. The Congress made a two-step strategic plan for building China into a modern socialist country, thus completing the timeline and roadmap toward socialist modernization since reform and opening-up. From 1978 to 1990, we ensure that people’s basic needs are met; from 1991 to 2000, we ensure that people live a decent life; from 2001 to 2020, we complete the building of a moderately prosperous society, the first centenary goal; from 2020 to 2035, we will basically realize socialist modernization; from 2035 to 2050, we will build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful, the second centenary goal.
15 years ahead of schedule
According to this plan, we will basically realize socialist modernization 15 years ahead of our original schedule. In describing the second centenary goal, we added “beautiful” and deleted the goal of doubling the GDP. It shows that we are firm In applying a new vision of Development, the vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development that Is for everyone.
Fifth, new leadership. An important agenda item of the 19th National Congress is the election of members and alternative members of the 19th Central Committee, and the members of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Candidates have to go through a rigorous selection process. The general principle is ensuring both party leadership and democracy. Attention will be paid to the candidates’ political integrity and cleanness in order to pick out the right person for the right position. Candidates will be under close scrutiny in terms of their moral integrity, capability, diligence, performance and cleanness. The final list of candidates will be submitted to the National Congress for a competitive election. On the second day of its formation, the 19th
Central Committee held its first plenary session where they elected the General Secretary, which is Comrade Xi Jinping, and members of the Standing Committee. They form the 19th central leadership.
Importance of party-building
The CPC is the leadership core of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is up to the CPC to ensure China’s success. Over the past five years, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has attached great importance to party-building. Senior leaders have taken the lead and set a good example. Our determination and efforts in exercising full and strict governance over the party helped us win the support of all party members and all Chinese people, providing an important guarantee for the party and the country’s future endeavors.
I have learned that PDP-Laban also values greatly party building, hoping to step up political and anti-graft work and build PDP-Laban into a clean and powerful political party with strict discipline and integrity. I’d like to take this opportunity to brief you on how the report to the 19th National Congress proposes to exercise strict governance over the party. I believe it will help us to learn from each other and make progress together.
Frankly speaking, as China continues to bring reform and opening up to higher levels, the rules of business dealings of the market economy have made their way into the party s political life. Serious problems such as fading party identity, loosening of organization and discipline, misconduct and corruption have all occurred. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has decided that they would rather sack thousands of corrupt officials than failing China’s 1.3 billion population. The Central Committee is resolute in resolving the prominent problems that prompt the strongest public reaction and that threaten to erode the very foundation of the Party’s governance and removing serious potential political dangers in the party and the country. All party members have gone through a thorough political baptism. Party and government conduct has seen marked improvement. These efforts help protect people’s fundamental interests and cement the party’s governance foundation.
Self-governance is self-revolution
The CPC is deeply aware that exercising full and strict self-governance is a self-revolution, a journey with no end. The report to the 19th National Congress devoted over one-eighth to work related to strict and full self-governance, hence its great importance.
First, for the first time, political building was included into the overall plan for strengthening party building and was recognized as the overarching principle. Over the past five years, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has disciplined nearly 300 ministerial-level-and-above party officials. Almost every one of them has violated political discipline and the majority of them are both politically and economically corrupt. That’s why political building tops the agenda for strengthening party building. All party members are required to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment with the central party leadership. They must uphold the authority of the Central Committee; carry out intraparty political activities In earnest; and respect the party’s political discipline and rules. We will work for a fundamental change in the party’s political ecosystem.
Second, we will work ceaselessly to improve party conduct. General Secretary Xi Jinping once said that, when party members feel less comfortable and less free, the people will feel more comfortable, more satisfied and have a better opinion of us. Since the 18th National Congress, the CPC has been resolutely opposing four kinds of misconduct—formalities for formalities’ sake, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. We introduced the eight-point regulation, a call on all party officials to stay close to the people, do away with empty meetings and speeches, regulate foreign visits, build a clean government, improve news reporting and security work, and cut waste and extravagance related to housing and vehicles. Senior officials are required to take the lead and set a good example. Typical cases are made public to impose high pressure on party officials. Over the past five years, the CPC has investigated about 189,000 cases suspected of violating the eight-point regulation and punished about 256,000 party officials. The whole party and the entire country are the witness of our determination and swift actions. We will continue the fight against misconduct because that’s how we can further cement the political foundation and popular support for the party’s governance.
(To be concluded tomorrow)
Mr. Meng Xiangfeng is a member of the CPC Central Committee, executive deputy secretary of the working committee for organs directly under the CPC Central Committee, and deputy chief of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. This article is from his keynote speech at the thematic briefing on the 19th National Congress of the CPC, in Manila on January 11, 2018.