People's Daily denounces Valentine's Day 'debauchery of decadent cadres'

Party mouthpiece decries decadence and corruption inspired by a Western tradition

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 12:22pm

On the eve of Valentine's Day, as businesses in big cities across the mainland geared up to cash in on the romantic occasion, the Communist Party's mouthpiece newspaper warned yesterday that in recent years it had turned into a "breeding-ground" of corruption and debauchery for a minority of party members.

A four-paragraph story in People's Daily said Valentine's Day had become a hatchery of decadent ideology, indulgent lifestyle, fraud and corruption for some party members who squandered money indulging their lovers.

It went on to say that such a trend had been seen among some senior party members, including disgraced former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai , former railways minister Liu Zhijun and former Shanghai party secretary Chen Liangyu , who all kept mistresses or had illicit affairs with many women.

The writer then asked why such a romantic holiday in the West, where lovers presented flowers, offered chocolates and sent greeting cards, had transformed into a breeding ground for corruption when it reached the mainland. The problem was cadres who had abandoned communist beliefs, the article said, breaking their party oath and betraying the cause.

It said that while the problem afflicted only a minority of party members, there would be severe consequences if such behaviour was not curbed.

The report concluded by warning party members to guard the bottom line in social morality, set a high standard of morality for party members and others, and enhance the party's credibility and solidarity.

One microblogger said the problem did not lie with party members either. He said political reform was the only way to stamp out corruption in an officialdom without effective checks and balances, and it was wishful thinking to believe that corruption could be kept in check by relying on the good deeds of individuals.