July 12, 2013 (TSR-Xinhua) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the 85 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to work hard and serve the people wholeheartedly to “ensure the color of red China will never change.”
Party members should improve their work styles to withstand tests the Party faces and ensure the CPC’s nature is not compromised, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
He was speaking during a two-day inspection tour of north China’s Hebei Province, which concluded on Friday.
During the trip, Xi visited Xibaipo, an old revolutionary base, where the CPC leadership were based from May 1948 to early 1949 to draw the blueprint of the new country and prepare for the CPC’s new role as the ruling party.
Late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s remarks on Party members’ work styles prior to the founding of New China in 1949 still have far-reaching ideological and historical significance, he said.
At an important meeting of the CPC in March 1949, Mao called on the whole Party to resolutely carry forward the work style of displaying modesty and prudence while guarding against conceit and impetuosity, and resolutely carry forward the style of working hard and plain living.
Xi said the comments bear lessons learnt from thousands of years of Chinese history, a summary of the process of the CPC’s growth, and profound thoughts on keeping the Party’s advanced nature and purity as well as on maintaining the prolonged stability of an upcoming state power.
Xi said he had been to Xibaipo many times. “Each time, I came with a lot of respect and left with many thoughts.”
Calling China’s revolutionary history the “best nutrient,” Xi said studying and recalling such history can bring “positive energy” to Party members.
Previous Chinese top leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao both visited Xibaipo shortly after they took office.
Xi’s visit symbolized the Party’s commitment to its traditions, said Prof. Wang Yukai, with the Chinese Academy of Governance.
Last December, Xi chose Guangdong, which served as the testing grounds for reform and opening-up policies more than 30 years ago, as the destination of his first inspection tour out of Beijing after taking the office of general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
“The new leaders are learning from political wisdom and experiences of their predecessors,” Wang said.
Besides Xibaipo, also on Xi’s schedule was Zhengding County, where Xi had been Party chief in the early 1980s.
The President dropped in the house of a local farmer, visited a village community center and the provincial civil affairs department.
The Party’s performance at the grass-roots level matters very much, Xi said.
“If every CPC member and every grass-roots organ have a strong sense of responsibility and do a good job, the Party will be strong, the country will be strong and people will be strong. Thus, the Party’s rule will have a solid foundation,” he said.
The CPC leadership is unfurling a large-scale campaign against harmful work styles, aiming to improve Party-people relations.
At a meeting with provincial officials of Hebei, Xi asked the senior provincial officials to set the example in the campaign.
They should raise the bar higher, examine their own conduct and correct their problems with unselfishness and bravery, the president said.
Senior officials should show the people their courage and resolve to face up to their own problems and their willingness to take advice from the people as well as make actual moves, he said.
The people should be encouraged to take care of the cause of the CPC and be guided to exercise their duty of supervision, according to Xi.
While acknowledging the performance of Hebei, the President urged the province to focus on the quality and efficiency of its development, improve people’s well-being and protect the environment.
The country’s new leadership has sent out a clear signal that the key to the Party’s rule is to improve its capacity to rule and maintain its internal vitality, Prof. Wang said.
Self-reflection key for CPC to improve
When China’s leadership introduced the latest campaign against undesirable work styles, people wondered how they were going to implement it.
Late last month, the 25-member Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee gave an answer by holding a meeting on June 22-25.
An important part of the meeting’s schedule was that every member of the Political Bureau, all high-profile Party officials, made a speech and discussed how he or she improved their own working style and how they implemented an “eight-point” regulation that the CPC leadership began promoting in December to ban extravagance and formalism.
In a statement issued after the meeting, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping said the Political Bureau members had a high-quality meeting, sharing their thoughts, exchanging ideas and discussing problems.
Political Bureau members should “implement the do’s before asking others to do so, and certainly not do something themselves if they don’t want others to do it,” the statement said.
Such self-analysis-like process may seem strange for foreign politicians but has long been an active practice in the political life of the CPC.
Previous CPC leaders including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping tried the method a number of times when the Party faced problems or disputes and needed to improve its work.
The CPC Constitution also lists it as an important part of Party work in a bid to seek the truth and correct mistakes.
Prof. Xie Chuntao, with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, regarded the process of self-reflection, no matter it is made by the Party or by each official, as a key to the CPC’s success in ruling China for such a long time.
“It is always easier to point fingers at others but it will do no good to improve the situation,” he said. “Finding out our own mistakes is the most effective way out.”
The current campaign of reinforcing the “mass line,” which champions close Party-people relations, is in fact a self-reflection effort by the CPC as its leadership has been fully aware of persistent problems such as red tape, corruption and Party-people alienation among officials.
Xi said at a meeting in June that the campaign will be a “thorough cleanup” of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance among officials.
In the campaign, every Party official is asked to focus on self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression, or metaphorically “look into the mirror, straighten the attire, take a bath and seek remedies.”
The senior leaders in the Political Bureau set the example first.
Compared with the Party’s old days, such a process is more difficult today.
However, the Party has confidence in its members that they are willing to and capable of reflecting on their conduct and correcting their own mistakes, as Communists believe mankind can realize ultimate liberation through their own efforts.