Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday called for the fight against corruption, which he said is "rampant in some fields," to be intensified.
"Anti-corruption and building a clean government are an important strategic mission. We cannot slack off for one moment," Hu said in a nationally televised speech at a grand rally to mark the 85th anniversary of the CPC.
Hu, also president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the strength of the Party is its vanguard character. He said the CPC must always keep and develop such a character to "consolidate its governing status and improve its governing capability."
All nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee attended the rally.
Hu called on the 70 million Party members to fully realize the importance of the anti-corruption drive.
Hu noted that there still exist some prominent problems that do not conform with the vanguard character of the CPC. Some Party members do not stand firmly for their political belief, some do not abide by the Party's discipline, and some grassroots Party organizations are weak.
"Cases of cadres abusing power for personal gains are frequently reported," Hu said.
He made the remark after former deputy commander of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Wang Shouye, was expelled on Thursday from China's top legislature on charges of economic crimes.
According to documents submitted to the National People's Congress, an unmarried young woman admitted to authorities that she had been keeping an "improper relationship" with Wang "for a long time."
Also on Thursday, a court opened in East China's Anhui Province to hear the case of former deputy head of the provincial finance department Kuang Bingwen and his son Kuang Zhongpin, who were charged with taking bribes of 861,000 yuan (US$107,600) and US$51,000, and embezzling public funds.
Last year, China's procurators investigated 8,490 government officials, including eight at the ministerial level.
China's courts convicted 1,932 government officials of graft, six of them ministerial-level officials.
Hu stressed that Party members should make painstaking efforts to combat corruption. They should fully realize that the campaign of maintaining the vanguard character of the Party is a long-term task of historic importance.
Hu said the campaign should be accompanied by implementing the scientific viewpoint of development, building a socialist harmonious society and enhancing the Party's governance capability.
The cadre selection system should be reformed to make the process more transparent and allow the public more say and a greater supervisory role.
Inner-Party supervision should be strengthened, Hu said, adding the Party welcomes supervision from the media and the masses.
"We should be alert against greedy desires, discipline our acts, resist money worship, hedonism and egoism," he said.
Keeping the vanguard character is integral to the success of the CPC, said Hu.
He urged Party members to always use their power for the people, care about the people and work to benefit the people.
"Hot issues and difficult issues facing the masses should always be made the emphasis of our work," said Hu.
Past experience has proven that in order to maintain its progressive nature, the Party must keep pace with the times, setting goals and implementing strategies in accordance with the reality and will of the people, he said.
The CPC Central Committee issued awards to outstanding grass-roots organizations of the Party and Party members at the rally.
People's Daily, the mouthpiece of CPC, publishes an editorial on Saturday, saying the Party's advanced nature will remain forever if it keeps pace with the times, and the Party's vitality will exist forever if it shares the future with the people.
Source: China Daily