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China's Communist Party

China mulls force to check political loyalty of police, judiciary

Proposal comes as President Xi Jinping says ensuring stability of the government must be priority ahead of Communist Party congress later this year

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 4:23pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 10:53pm

China’s Communist Party is considering setting up a force of inspectors to check and ensure the political loyalty of the police, judges and prosecutors.

The proposal comes months ahead of a major transition of power in the government at a party congress due to be held this autumn.

All law enforcers must have “absolute political loyalty” and strictly abide by the political norms and disciplines of the party, a directive issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party said, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported late on Wednesday.

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The plan comes after an inspection report into the Ministry of Public Security last month called on the country’s police to eradicate the bad influence of the disgraced former security tsar Zhou Yongkang.

He was jailed for life two years ago for corruption and leaking state secrets.

Zhou is the most senior party leader to be charged with corruption under a huge anti-graft campaign initiated by Xi.

The party has said Zhou’s case and other corruption investigations highlight the serious problem of political loyalty among what it describes as political conspirators.

The directive from the Central Committee said it would study introducing a new political inspector force to ensure the “absolute leadership” of the party in all areas of law enforcement.

The inspectors will routinely check whether law enforcement agencies properly uphold party discipline and conform with political standards, as well as implementing party leaders’ major policies.

At a top level meeting on the nation’s legal apparatus that opened last week, President Xi Jinping said the security and stability of the government must be made the top priority ahead of the 19th party congress later this year.

China’s disgraced security tsar Zhou Yongkang jailed for life over graft

The meetings, expected to take place this autumn, will see more than 10 seats open in the 25-strong Politburo.

Up to five of the seven members of the top leadership in the Politburo’s Standing Committee will also step down and retire, if there is no change to its size and retirement age.