The Beijing leadership has ordered a no-holds-barred campaign against cults and criminal and underground political organisations. President Jiang Zemin has put together a leading group consisting of at least three Politburo members to combat the banned Falun Gong sect. It is headed by Vice-Premier Li Lanqing. Ranking members include Vice-President Hu Jintao and State Councillor Luo Gan. A security source said the political campaign against the Buddhist and qi gong cult would last throughout this month. 'The campaign will consist of three stages,' the source said. 'The first two emphasise how the Falun Gong sect has threatened national stability and brought disasters to affiliates and ordinary people. The last stage will consist of mass arrests of central and regional organisers to ensure it ceases to be a threat to the administration.' Police and paramilitary police would also crack down on an estimated 7,000 underground criminal gangs. Combating organised crime is the theme of this year's Strike Hard campaign against felons. Mr Jiang has reportedly been alarmed by reports that many clandestine gangs have memberships of more than 30,000 scattered among different provinces. A Western diplomat said Mr Jiang hoped 'absolute stability' would be achieved before the October 1 National Day, when the President would receive salutes from the PLA as well as representatives from different public sectors. 'Jiang is taking no chances that the October 1 ceremony, which confirms his status as the new Deng Xiaoping, will be sabotaged by anti-government elements,' the diplomat said. Meanwhile, the leadership is expected to continue to crack the whip on illegal political organisations, including the China Democracy Party. It is understood that state security personnel have discovered new underground political units, some of whom have based themselves in poor and hilly regions to escape police detection. Political analysts said that while the recent spate of arrests had broken the back of the China Democracy Party, the leadership was worried about the growth of other 'anti-Beijing' organisations. In an internal speech, Mr Jiang praised the state security apparatus for its efficiency in uncovering new sources of threats to the administration.