|Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L, back) listens to reports on the "mass line" educational campaign of Lankao County and delivers a keynote speech, in Lankao County, central China's Henan Province, March 18, 2014. Xi made an inspection tour in Lankao from March 17 to 18, directing the "mass line" educational campaign. The Communist Party of China (CPC) initiated the year-long campaign in June, 2013 to strengthen the "mass line", referring to a guideline under which the CPC is required to prioritize the interests of the people. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)|
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for "adding chili pepper" to the country's anti-decadence campaign, while an intensified hunt for corrupt officials certainly shows the heat being turned up.
During an inspection tour of Lankao County in central China's Henan Province from Monday to Tuesday, Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, raised requirements for this year's anti-decadence campaign.
"The work of criticism and self-criticism should be intensified," just like "adding a bit of chili pepper to make every Party official blush and sweat a little," he said when addressing a group of grassroots officials in Lankao.
Xi also ordered that the public be allowed to lodge complaints and make criticism more boldly and openly.
In January, the CPC Central Committee launched the second round of its anti-decadence campaign in an attempt to strengthen Party-people ties and deter corrupt work styles.
The campaign also requires Party officials to check and report their own problems and mistakes while summarizing the flaws of their colleagues to disciplinary supervisors.
To highlight the significance of the campaign, each of the seven Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has been allocated a county and tasked with supervising its progress during this second round. Xi has been paired with Lankao.
Recent moves by the CPC's disciplinary watchdog, including the expansion of discipline inspection arms and renewed inspection efforts show Xi's chili pepper is already being thrown into the pot, and that the action is not limited to the realm of "criticism and self-criticism."
The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced on Monday that it has established three new offices, including two discipline inspection divisions and a division tasked with supervising discipline inspection officers.
The newly established discipline inspection divisions will bring the total number of such divisions in the ministry to 12.
Moreover, as an important weapon in combating corruption, the discipline inspection mechanism will have its coverage enlarged this year.
The third round of discipline inspection, inaugurated at a high-level disciplinary meeting on Saturday, will expand the subjects of graft inspection from 10 to 14, including provincial-level governments, a state-owned enterprise, a ministry and a university.
Xue Qingchao, researcher with the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee, said the expansion endorses the role of inspection work and that the downfalls of several corrupt officials during previous rounds also testifies to the mechanism's efficacy.
Zhang Jun, deputy head of the CCDI, said at the Saturday meeting that there will be three rounds of discipline inspections this year, instead of two last year.
Zhang also noted that not only corrupt officials, but also their discipline inspectors, will be held accountable should graft cases emerge.
Also as part of innovations to the discipline inspection mechanism, inspectors will carry out targeted inspections from this year, banishing any tendency for such initiatives to be superficial.
This year, targeted inspections will be launched in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Shanghai-based Fudan University, and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation.
According to a work report of the CCDI, discipline inspection agencies punished about 182,000 officials nationwide in 2013, 13.3 percent more than in 2012. Thirty-one high-profile officials were investigated by the CCDI and eight of them were handed over to prosecutors.