President presses his ideology President Hu Jintao has made another push to bolster his political agenda, by stressing the urgent need to shore up the country's ethical foundations. Mr Hu said 'moral cultivation' was of vital importance for the survival of the party and the country. He was speaking yesterday - only weeks ahead of the Communist Party's 17th National Congress - at a high-profile event in Beijing's Great Hall of the People at which awards were presented to 'moral examples', including workers, party members, teachers and scientists. The stress on rebuilding the party's moral strength, amid widespread official corruption fuelled by decades of headlong economic growth, is a cornerstone of Mr Hu's ideology. Analysts say it marks a conscious shift from the gung ho 'growth-at-any-cost' development path advocated by his predecessor Jiang Zemin . Ever since Mr Hu succeeded Mr Jiang as party chief in 2002, his administration has placed considerable emphasis on combatting corruption and promoting the party's moral standards. This recognises that the public's growing discontent over corruption among party officials is a threat to the Communist Party's legitimacy in the long term and, ultimately, to the survival of one-party rule. 'A sound ethos within the party should be cultivated to bring along a healthy ethos among the general public and government officials, so as to create harmonious relations between the party and the masses,' CCTV quoted Mr Hu as saying. Mr Hu delivered the speech one day after he took a significant step closer to securing a position among the key figures in the Communist pantheon. At a Politburo meeting on Monday, it was announced that Mr Hu's political theory was to be written into the party charter next month. Analysts say that with his first term as party chief winding down, Mr Hu has managed to establish a political platform which is distinct from Mr Jiang's, one which will broaden and whose development will accelerate in the next five years. While the 65-year-old party chief has made clear in the past five years that he wants to maintain the mainland's reformist economic profile and keep the economy growing, he has also shifted the priorities within that framework towards humanising the economic juggernaut. His ideas have been placed under the ideological umbrella of a 'harmonious society'. In reality, they mean reducing inequality arising as a result of China's rapid economic growth and ensuring a fairer distribution of wealth, and helping people regain a moral grounding as corruption seeps into almost every corner of mainland society and making money has become the paramount goal of the masses. One of the political slogans he has coined to enhance his anti-corruption campaign is 'eight honours and eight shames', which serves as a moral yardstick by which to measure senior Communist Party officials. The party secretary-general has, on many occasions, urged members to lead simpler lives of 'self-discipline' and to eschew the excesses of consumerism.