Corruption key issue at China's 18th National Congress
BEIJING, Nov 8: Since one of China´s top leaders, Deng Xiaoping, began reforms more than 30 years ago, the country has become one of the most economically prosperous in the world. But not without costs.
Along with the economic boom, the issue of corruption has now become one of the most talked-about in China. And it is set to be a key issue to be dealt with during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which begins in the Chinese capital on Thursday.
A day before the historic congress of the 91-year-old communist party that set China on the path of modernity, top Chinese officials have confirmed that corruption among the party rank and file will be one of the key issues during the nine-day congress.
Both the CPC Central Committee and the State Council are always against corruption no matter how high-profile a position the person involved occupies in the party, pronounced Cai Mingzhao, spokesperson for the 18th Congress, at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People here Wednesday.
"The party is serious in upholding the integrity and to fight against corruption as it will be the top priority of the new leadership," Mingzhao told a huge gathering of journalists.
Ai Ping, Vice Minister at the International Department of the CPC, also accepted that corruption has become one of the major issues to be delved into.
"We have to be realistic when the issue of corruption comes up," Ping told the visiting journalists at his office the same day. "It is not natural but is very difficult to wipe out."
He, however, said that the CPC has done more or less enough to curb corruption.
There is definitely room for improvement, Ping further said, in response to a question, adding that the party has already begun to educate its leaders and cadres on the issue of corruption and will do all that is needed to maintain discipline in the party.
Ping and Mingzhao were responding to questions related to disgruntled leaders Bo Xilai and former railways minister Liu Zhijun, both of whom have now been sacked from the party for corruption.
The 18th Congress of the CPC, that concluded its four-day plenum on Sunday, officially consented to the Politburo decision in September to expel Bo, former party chief of Chongqing, for what it termed ´severe disciplinary breaches´. Liu, meanwhile, was indicted for corruption following a high-speed train collision that claimed 40 lives in the eastern city of Wenzhou in July, 2011.
Meanwhile, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has pledged to intensify its anti-corruption efforts, warning in a statement that anti-corruption is "long-term, complicated and tough battle."
The document said the party is faced with the growing danger of "lacking drive, incompetence, being divorced from the people, and corruption," the state-owned China Daily reported on Wednesday.
In a latest survey also, corruption is one of the most pressing concerns of the people of China.
The majority of people surveyed in China´s seven major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Chengdu, have said that corruption is the key problem in present-day politics, followed by wealth imbalances and a defective social security system.
Seventy percent of those surveyed believe that the government should accept further supervision from the public and the media, according to another state-owned newspaper, Global Times.
Failure to draft statute ´unfortunate´
Ai Ping, a top Nepal expert in China, has termed the failure of political party leaders in Nepal to draft a new constitution as "unfortunate."
"Due to lots of differences between the parties, they have failed to draft a new constitution, which is unfortunate," Ping said in response to a question from Republica.
He, however, refuted media reports that China was against ethnic identity-based federalism in Nepal.
"The report is not accurate," he said, adding, "China has always maintained its policy of non-interference in other countries´ internal affairs."
It was up to the people of Nepal to decide what type of constitution the country needed, he further said. "Nepal is undergoing historic transformation and China wants to see economic development and social progress and that would be possible only after laying the foundation of a political system in the new constitution."