President Xi Jinping called for the building of a clean political environment and safeguarding the authority of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, of which he is general secretary.
Xi made the remark on March 10 during a panel discussion with lawmakers from Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Political ecology is similar to natural ecology because both can be polluted easily, and rehabilitation comes at a high cost, Xi said.
Xi said a clean and upright political ecology is essential to safeguarding both the authority and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee — all of which are needed urgently to ensure full and strict governance of the Party and represent a vital guarantee in fulfilling reform and development targets.
During the discussion, eight National People’s Congress (NPC) deputies delivered speeches on issues including high-quality growth, environmental protection in the Yangtze River region, innovation, Party building and Chinese traditional culture.
Zhang Xuan, head of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress, suggested in her speech that the Party and government officials should receive more judicial training as part of the Central Committee’s effort to advance the rule of law. Xi noted her advice and urged that it be implemented.
Leading officials should demonstrate leadership and set an example, Xi said. He urged them to uphold the rule of law, oppose the rule of man, and exercise their duty within the bounds of the Constitution and laws.
They were asked to abide by political rules and fully implement the Party’s lines, principles and policies, as well as the decisions of the Central Committee.
Leading officials should also promote core socialist values and prevent a relapse of negative elements in traditional values, he said.
Xi emphasized the need for three virtues. First and foremost, he said, is political virtue. Officials should stand firm in their political ideals and convictions, enhance Party consciousness and take clear positions on key issues.
He said officials should also maintain good public virtue, committing themselves to serving the people wholeheartedly and delivering on the promise to strive to meet the people’s needs for a better life.
He went on to say that officials should strictly guard individual virtue by refraining from corruption and pleasure-seeking. He warned that an official should keep both himself and his whole family “clean”.
“Don’t let pillow talk lead you down to corruption. Don’t let your children engage in self-dealing using your name. Don’t be dragged into muddy water by people around you,” Xi warned.
He said officials should strengthen their self-control, so as not to be tempted by even the slightest profit and not to be confused amid all sorts of seduction.
“Officials should never indulge themselves, never cross the line, never break the rules, and improve their immunity to corruption,” he said.
Other Chinese leaders — Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu and Zhao Leji — also joined panel discussions with NPC deputies.
Speaking to deputies from Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Premier Li Keqiang called for implementation of the country’s “go west” strategy to make the region an inland pioneer in reform and opening-up. He also asked the region to improve its business environment by consistently deepening reforms, improving living standards and resolutely securing victory in poverty alleviation.
Meeting with deputies from Yunnan province in the southwest, Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said he hopes the province will build itself into an exemplary region in promoting ethnic unity, progress and ecological development, as well as become a center of opening up to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Joining deputies from Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, Zhao Leji, also a Standing Committee member, said the campaign against privilege-seeking should be continued.
He called for action against formality for its own sake, bureaucracy and various kinds of misconduct, and for keeping the pressure on problems of personal conduct.