China punishes 20,000 officials in anti-graft drive

Last Updated: Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 20:10

Beijing: Some 20,000 officials have been punished this year in China as part of the ruling Communist Party`s clamp down on corruption and misconduct by mandarins to ensure that the "colour of red China will never change."
A circular issued this week by the Communist Party of China warned cadres and officials that they are strictly forbidden from hosting luxurious funerals or taking advantage of the occasion to collect condolence money from visitors.

The Politburo of the CPC had issued rules December last year asking officials to refrain from excessive spending of public money on official vehicles, foreign trips and parties.

Almost 20,000 Chinese officials had been punished by the end of October for breaches of the anti-bureaucracy and waste guidelines announced by the central authorities last year, a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection of the CPC, the Party`s anti-graft watchdog said.

Xi Jinping, China`s President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee has ordered a "thorough clean-up" of the party to rid it of "formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance."

In the past 90-plus years, the CPC has grown from a revolutionary party of just over 50 members to an 80-million- strong political party ruling the world`s most populous country, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
However, the CPC has been confronted with increasingly grave dangers of incompetence, a lack of drive, corruption, being out of touch with the people, and other misconduct.

The campaign to promote the mass line, described as the "lifeline of the Party," was launched by the CPC in June to broaden and establish contact with the masses amid growing public discontent over corruption. The campaign is supposed to continue until mid-2014, the report said.

During a tour in Hebei Province in June, Xi had urged Party cadres to serve the people to "ensure the color of red China will never change."

There used to be concerns that the "mass line" campaign could do little to shake up the party, and the campaign would become ritualised or a formality. However, the public and low -level officials are now seeing more clearly that the central leadership is determined to bolster the party`s ties to the people through long-term efforts, the report said.

PTI

First Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 20:10

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