China's Xi warns of unrest if graft not tackled

BEIJING Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:01am GMT

Newly-elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping speaks as he meets with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 15, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Newly-elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping speaks as he meets with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria

BEIJING (Reuters) - If corruption is allowed to run wild in China then the ruling Communist Party risks major unrest and the collapse of its rule, state media on Monday quoted Communist Party chief Xi Jinping as saying at one of his first major meetings since taking the role.

In unusually blunt language, Vice President Xi, who assumes Hu Jintao's job as head of state in March, said that graft was like "worms breeding in decaying matter" -- an old Chinese phrase meaning "ruin befalls those who are weak".

"In recent years, some countries have stored up problems over time leading to seething public anger, civil unrest and government collapse -- corruption has been an important factor in all this," state newspapers quoted Xi as telling a study session for the Politburo, the party's second-highest decision-making body.

"A great deal of facts tell us that the worse corruption becomes the only outcome will be the end of the party and the end of the state! We must be vigilant!" Xi added.

"Recently, our party has had serious discipline and legal cases of a despicable nature which has had a bad political effect and shocked people," he said, without naming any of these incidents.

The run up to this month's party congress, at which a new generation of leaders was unveiled, was overshadowed by a scandal involving former political heavyweight Bo Xilai, once a contender for top leadership in the world's second-largest economy.

Bo was expelled from the party this year and faces possible charges of corruption and abuse of power, while his wife was jailed for murdering a British businessman.

Xi said that party members, especially those at senior levels, should not abuse their positions for personal gain, and that they were not above the law.

Officials "must also strengthen their management and control over their relations and those who work with them", Xi added.

The New York Times said last month that the family of Premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated at least $2.7 billion in "hidden riches", a report China labeled a smear.

However, without an independent judiciary, efforts to fight graft will almost certainly falter, and the control-obsessed party has shown no sign of embarking on this reform.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Comments (16)
EthicsIntl wrote:
The N.Y. Times & Bloomberg websites are being blocked in China since their reports came out over a month ago [Ethics.Intl, Beijing].

The Chinese point of view is that Western governments/elite corruption of astronomical proportions has brought their economies to the brink of disaster.

To single out China is not only pretentious, worse yet it is perceived as being politically inflammatory & aggressive.

Considering America’s & the EU’s historical & recent military involvement in undermining other countries’ sovereignty, the Chinese are very correct in perceiving this as an outright attack on their economic, social & political progress, which the West looks upon with much envy.

[EthicsIntl is an entity without a country. Planet Earth, its survival and world wide social justice are its only concerns].

Nov 18, 2012 4:08am GMT  --  Report as abuse
Free_Pacific wrote:
Stephan Rothlin’s “18 Rules of International Business Ethics” Dont seem to encourage censorship of the internet. I don’t see the leap you have made putting these two things together. Unless of course, you couple it with…

“The strategy should be to limit the output of Western experts to a minimum”.

I guess if you make the leap and put them together, the message is “Shup up the West, shut up shut up shut up”. Hardly surprising from a centre based in Beijing. Under this Theory, shouldnt Rothlin’s own advice be censored? After all, he is swiss. I don’t suppose that would aid his business model though, that relies on Chinese money.

Nov 18, 2012 4:50am GMT  --  Report as abuse
EthicsIntl wrote:
@Free_Pacific;

Ethics.Intl was conceived and is based New York City by a small group of US, EU, African, Asian & S.A. concerned multinational citizens.

We have no allegiance to any institution or government.

Our information & opinion comes from members who are actually living & working in the particular country, and who are not citizens of that same country.

Nov 19, 2012 5:43am GMT  --  Report as abuse
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