Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, July 05, 2013

Back to the future

According to Party leaders in China, victory over corruption is to be achieved the same way victories over the land lords, the KMT, and the Japanese were achieved.

What's next? A renewed "Learn from Lei Feng" campaign? A revival of Mao Zedong as a model leader?

Here's the latest word from the official Chinese news agency.

"Mass line" campaign shows CPC's determination

Mao Zedong's inscription,
"Learn from Comrade Lei Feng."
The reinforcement of the "mass line" has demonstrated the determination of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to correct any misbehavior that may get in the way of its development.

The "mass line," a guideline introduced by the revolutionary forerunners of the CPC, champions close Party-people relations that helped the Party come to the national power.

The CPC followed the line and grew stronger by aligning with the public during the the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937), the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) and the War of Liberation (1945-1949).

The line's significance was brought up again decades after its introduction. Top CPC leaders decided in April to launch a year-long "mass line" campaign from the second half of this year to cement Party-people ties…

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said in June that the campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance among officials.

The campaign came on the heels of an "eight-point" regulation that the CPC leadership began promoting in December 2012 to ban extravagance and formalism from events attended by officials.

Both the "eight-point" instruction and the "mass line" campaign are the CPC leadership's endeavor to shoot persistent problems such as red tape, corruption and Party-people alienation among officials…

Unlike their revolutionary forerunners, however, the current CPC leadership will find that the situation for the Party to implement the "mass line" is different from that of decades ago.

It is the temptation of power abuse and huge bribes that the current CPC officials must fight against this time rather than enemy soldiers their revolutionary forerunners had to eliminate decades ago.

After six decades in power, the CPC has elevated China to its place as the world's second-largest economy. The country's growing prosperity has provided Party officials with opportunities to corruption…

Meanwhile, interests and values of the Chinese people are increasingly diversified. They have become more vocal about their legitimate rights and interests, particularly on the Internet.

Under such circumstances, officials must efficiently address people's complaints and tackle their problems to guarantee stability and protect the public's interests…

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