Xi says China’s military must push political education, anti-corruption efforts
- In speech to party congress, President Xi Jinping highlights achievements of anti-graft campaign, which has purged hundreds of generals
- Military law expert says Xi believes PLA can play role of political ‘stabiliser’ as China faces problems at home and overseas
Xi, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said the PLA will push political education and disciplinary training as part of its anti-corruption movement.
“[We should] accelerate the establishment of the party’s [ideological] organisation system in the military by promoting the normalisation and institutionalisation of political education and persistently push the anti-corruption campaign forward,” he told more than 2,000 party delegates on Sunday.
After a decade of anti-graft efforts, the campaign has become “a sword hanging over all the heads of all senior PLA officers”, said Chen Daoyin, a political commentator and former professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law now based in Chile.
From May to September, the PLA staged a comprehensive political education campaign, according to a report published by the defence ministry on May 31.
A military insider said the political education campaign came as the anti-graft drive faced strong resistance among mid-ranking officers.
“Senior generals who are expected to be promoted might become very cleanhanded, but mid-level cadres who have lost hope for promotion might still try to make money before retirement,” said the insider, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The source said that promotions could be affected if an officer’s spouse, children or relatives were involved in anti-graft investigations, which some officers found unfair.
Retired PLA lieutenant colonel Zeng Zhiping, a military law expert at Suzhou City University, said Xi’s remarks on the importance of anti-graft efforts indicated his strong attention to the military’s role in the country’s stability.
“Xi believes the PLA could play the role of a political ‘stabiliser’ in China, especially when he needs to tackle so many problems at home and overseas,” Zeng said.