General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, addresses the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 22, 2021. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed the importance of leveraging the guiding and safeguarding roles of strict Party governance in every respect to ensure the development goals and tasks of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) are fulfilled.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks on Friday when addressing the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
The year 2020 was extraordinary in the history of the People's Republic of China, Xi said as he summarized the year's achievements in Party construction.
"People feel deeply that in stormy times the strong leadership of the Party and the authority of the CPC Central Committee are what they can always count on," Xi said.
The CPC Central Committee is satisfied with the progress made in improving Party conduct, building a clean government and combating corruption, he added.
Xi underscored the importance of improving political judgment, understanding and execution in implementing full and strict governance over the Party.
On fighting corruption, historic achievements have been made but the situation remains challenging and complex, Xi said.
"Corruption, as the biggest risk to the Party's governance, still exists," Xi said, adding that old and new types of corruption have become intertwined and corruption is increasingly covert and complex.
In 2020, 18 centrally-administrated officials were investigated. Also, 1,229 fugitives were brought back and 2.45 billion yuan (378 million U.S. dollars) retrieved from overseas in the first 11 months of 2020.
In the first 11 days of 2021, China's top anti-graft body announced punishments for seven centrally-administrated officials who were accused of taking bribes, signifying that the country's war on corruption is taking steady steps in the new year.
"The struggle between corruption and anti-corruption efforts will continue to exist for a long period to come," Xi said. "There is no alternative but to forge ahead in the anti-corruption fight against all odds."
Xi stressed constantly improving Party conduct, building clean government and combating corruption.
The governance over the Party must always be strict, so that the CPC can lead and ensure the smooth sailing of the great ship of socialism with Chinese characteristics, he said.
Xi demanded strong political oversight to ensure the implementation of the CPC Central Committee's major decisions and plans.
"We must resolutely continue the fight against corruption," Xi said, stressing the need to build the systems and measures to ensure that officials do not dare to be, are not able to be, and do not want to be corrupt.
Xi demanded efforts to resolutely curb the practice of formalities for formalities' sake and bureaucratism.
Continuous efforts must be made to address corruption and misconduct that affect people's immediate interests, to boost their sense of gaining, he added.
Xi stressed the need to improve the Party and state supervisory systems, and integrate supervision into the country's development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.
Discipline inspection and supervision agencies should take the lead in strengthening the Party's political building. They must also be subject to the strictest constraint and oversight, Xi said.
Members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning and Han Zheng attended the meeting.
Zhao Leji, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the CCDI, presided over the meeting.
Xi's important speech serves as the major guidance for advancing strict Party governance in every respect, Zhao said while presiding over the meeting.
Zhao called on Party organizations at all levels and Party members and officials to study and implement the guiding principles of Xi's speech, and earnestly implement the plans made at the CCDI session.
Zhao also delivered a work report to the session on behalf of the standing committee of the CCDI.