Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign

Don’t be swayed by interest groups, Chinese president warns cadres

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 11:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 11:59pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered political elites to guard against the influence of interest groups.

Speaking at a workshop on fighting graft on Monday, Xi said leading cadres must practise strict self-discipline and “eliminate special privileges”, Xinhua reported. The meeting comes amid suspicions of collusion between the business sector and political elites on the mainland, concerns that have been amplified in recent weeks by the disappearance from Hong Kong of tycoon Xiao Jianhua, who is said to be connected to influential figures.

“Cadres should strictly watch themselves, and avoid being influenced by interest groups,” Xi was quoted as saying. “[We] must insist that interactions have principles, boundaries and rules.”

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Xi was addressing hundreds of ministerial-level cadres at the Central Party School, the Communist Party’s top academy.

He exhorted them to be honest with the party and warned there was no excuse for trying to avoid supervision.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has overseen a campaign to root out corruption in the party, taking down several senior officials such as former security tsar Zhou Yongkang.

Chen Daoyin, an associate professor at Shanghai’s University of Political Science and Law, said the graft drive had revealed that cadres and businesspeople were too close.

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“Many of the corrupt cadres have become close friends of businessmen around them,” Chen said pointing to the case of Xiao.

Sources have told the South China Morning Post that Xiao, who left Hong Kong on the eve of Lunar New Year in mysterious circumstances, was helping with investigations on the mainland related to the stock market rout in the summer of 2015. Xiao, founder of financial group Tomorrow Holdings, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.