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Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping warns of unrest if graft not tackled

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 11:45am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 4:11pm

If corruption is allowed to run wild in China then the ruling Communist Party risks major unrest and the collapse of its rule, state media on Monday quoted Vice President Xi Jinping as saying at one of his first major meetings since being named as new leader at the 18th party congress.

In unusually blunt language, Xi, who assumes Hu Jintao’s job as head of state in March next year, said that graft was like “worms breeding in decaying matter” – an old Chinese phrase meaning “ruin befalls those who are weak”.

“In recent years, some countries have stored up problems over time, leading to seething public anger, civil unrest and government collapse – corruption has been an important factor in all this,” state newspapers quoted Xi as telling a study session for the Politburo, the party’s second-highest decision-making body.

“A great deal of facts tell us that the worse corruption becomes the only outcome will be the end of the party and the end of the state! We must be vigilant!” Xi added.

“Recently, our party has had serious discipline and legal cases of a despicable nature, which has had a bad political effect and shocked people,” he said, without naming any of these incidents.

The run up to this month’s party congress, at which a new generation of leaders was unveiled, was overshadowed by a scandal involving former political heavyweight Bo Xilai, once a contender for top leadership in the world’s second-largest economy.

Bo was expelled from the party this year and faces possible charges of corruption and abuse of power, while his wife was jailed for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.

Xi said that party members, especially those at senior levels, should not abuse their positions for personal gain, and that they were not above the law.

Officials “must also strengthen their management and control over their relations and those who work with them”, Xi added.

The New York Times said last month that the family of Premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated at least US$2.7 billion in “hidden riches”, a report China labelled as a smear.


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Remitting Prosperity
The SCMP recently noted that the President of China had made a speech condemning corruption virtually every year since the 1990s, and every year it has got worse. The problem is this; no Party official can be investigated for corruption unless that investigation is instigated by an official of a higher grade. So in that case how do you investigate corruption right at the top of the Party?
The only solution would be an independent body outside the Party, such as the ICAC. But here's the snag; for such a body to be effective, it would be necessary to have an independent legal system which would give such a body the power to enforce its decisions without being liable to be overruled by the Party itself.
This is a very tricky dilemma. Either way would necessitate a diminution of the Party's power, whether by increasing corruption as Xi says, or by having to agree to a separation of powers. Could this be the Party's Achilles Heel?
i guess he has decided he will settle for the US$400 million he has stolen from the people already? Not going to shoot for the stars like Wen's $2.7bn?


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