Focuses on upholding Party leadership, political loyalty
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has issued a revised regulation on inspections to uphold Party leadership following achievements made by the campaign against corruption after the 18th National Congress of the CPC.
The CPC is shifting its focus from fighting corruption and Party rule violations in the initial rounds of inspections, and lifting political inspections to a more prominent place on its supervision agenda.
The revised rules clearly state that "political inspections should be deepened, and inspections should mainly focus on upholding the Party leadership, improving Party building, and advancing the comprehensive and strict rule of the Party."
"Inspections are a traditional way for the CPC Central Committee to realize control over the Party and unify Party members. In the past, inspections focused on graft because the problem was serious and the Party needed to place great attention on it. But it is time to deal with political problems within the Party," said Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Graft involves using influence in exchange for financial interests or sex, and the anti-graft campaign has effectively contained it within the Party, but "the corruption in personnel management" is much more dangerous than graft, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times.
"Some senior officials use their authority to form cliques and gangs within the Party by appointing their followers to key positions. This kind of behavior might not qualify as graft, but these small political alliances will seriously threaten the Party's unity and the CPC Central Committee's authority, and may even lead to a split in the Party," Su said.
"The interests of these small gangs differ from the people's interests and violate the instructions and will of the CPC Central Committee, so the Party has to treat them seriously and be tough with them, otherwise they will cause bigger damage than graft," Su added.
Wang Qishan, head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said in a People's Daily article that the authority of inspections is guaranteed by the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee and empowered by the Party Constitution. "Without the CPC Central Committee's leadership, the inspections would not play such a big role and achieve remarkable results."
The inspections will focus more on checking Party members' loyalty to the Central Committee, and determining whether they have fulfilled the Central Committee's instructions and other political issues, Zhi said.
The biggest challenge to the Party's long-term governance is the lack of effective supervision of power, Wang said. Stressing trust cannot replace supervision, Wang said the Party hopes to improve intra-Party supervision through inspections and exposing real problems.
During the 12 rounds of inspections by central inspection authorities since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, 277 Party organizations have been inspected, 16 provincial-level regions have been re-examined and inspections of four institutions under the central authorities have been carried out, Wang said.
The inspections also covered major State-owned enterprises, central financial institutions and major universities, among others, according to Wang's article.
This is the first time the Party has successfully inspected all these entities within an administrative term, the article said.
"All of the problems discovered during the inspections reflect the weakening of Party leadership, deficiency in Party building and inadequate work in Party governance," Wang said.
To ensure a clean political environment, the Party has achieved great results in strict Party governance. Inspection authorities usually make public the list of targeted units and collect information through various channels before carrying out an inspection, Xinhua reported.
They also provide hotlines and mailboxes for disciplinary violations during inspections, while feedback and rectification of targeted units are also publicized after the inspection.
The first round of discipline inspections in 2013 focused on work style, graft, political discipline and personnel selection, while Party discipline and strict Party governance have been emphasized in succeeding inspections, the article said.
"Inspections are a political check-up, while re-examinations are a political review aimed at extending and amplifying deterrence," Wang said.
During re-examinations, inspectors have discovered political problems in several provinces and cities, including Liaoning, Shandong, Tianjin and Chongqing, according to the website of the top discipline watchdog.