Opinion / Editorials

Anti-corruption fight is here to stay

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-13 08:12

Those counting on the top leadership to shift their eyes away from the anti-graft windstorm should be on tenterhooks.

Neither the claim that the fight against corruption is worsening the economic downturn, nor the assumption that the continuous harshness would tie the hands of public servants and drive them into collective inaction seems to have shaken the top leaders' resolve.

Quoting Party leader Xi Jinping as saying that the campaign will always be ongoing, the country's top graft buster Wang Qishan has made it explicit that there will be no end to it, at least in their term of office.

It is yet to be seen how far the current leadership actually goes in dealing with corruption, and to what extent it honors the pledge to create a political environment where public officials dare not, cannot and do not want to be corrupt.

But it has been obvious that Xi seeks a real difference. He sounds determined to disprove what he calls "heresy" that the Party can't uproot corruption in its ranks.

So, after dispatching itinerant inspection teams to ministries and the provinces, the Party's discipline watchdog is targeting major State firms and the financial sector this year.

That each group of inspectors has identified serious malpractices and clues to corruption, or that no institution scrutinized has turned out to be innocent, is surely of a worrying indicator for the extent and scope of corruption. But it also corroborates Xi's and Wang's idea that the Party cannot afford to slacken off in its fight against corruption.

Wang reminded the Communist Party of China's discipline inspectors that the Kuomintang party lost power to the CPC in 1949 because it lost hearts, and it lost hearts because it was corrupt. Xi, too, highlights the direct link between the need for housecleaning and the Party's governing status.

The real challenge they face is the cruel reality that, as is evident from findings of all inspection teams, departmental and personal interests have taken universal precedence over public and national interests. That is why the anti-graft campaign has run into prevalent resistance from vested interests.

Cries that fighting corruption will hurt economic vitality and dampen officials' enthusiasm for public service are only some of their ploys to discourage Xi and his graft busters.

It is thus inspiring to see they are carrying on.

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