Fighting corruption is Party's top priority

Corruption runs counter to the nature and purpose of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which therefore unswervingly opposes it.

The remarks were made by Ouyang Song, the deputy chief of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, who also said an 18-month education campaign to preserve the "advanced nature" of Party members helped fight corruption.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Ouyang said the just-concluded education drive had focused on improving the political and ideological calibre of Party members.

"This has been conducive to curbing and preventing corruption," he told the press meeting held by the State Council Information Office.

The largest education campaign since the CPC was set up in 1921 involved nearly all the 70 million members in at least 3.5 million grassroots Party organizations.

The CPC's Constitution says the Party must always represent the requirements of the development of the nation's advanced productive forces, the orientation of the development of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.

The self-education process had raised the competence of the membership, and also resolved some outstanding problems among the members, he said.

More than 156,000 poorly-organized grassroots Party units have been told to improve their work, while 165,000 leaders were shifted to strengthen organizations at grassroots level, Ouyang said.

"As usual, we dealt with every corruption case we came across during the 18-month campaign. We've always tackled corruption cases without indulgence," he said.

During the campaign, education activities were held to assist Party members who failed to fulfil their obligations; and the CPC dismissed 44,738 members who failed to meet Party requirements last year, he said.

In 2004, it expelled 49,000 members, according to Li Jingtian, another official with the Organization Department.

A poll conducted since May across the country and among some central government departments showed 97 per cent of more than 6 million people surveyed approved of the education campaign.

The education campaign has strengthened the Party's cohesion and credibility. Last year, 17.67 million people, compared with 17.38 million in 2004, applied to join the Party, three quarters of them were aged below 35, Ouyang said.

About 2.47 million, including 1.98 million aged below 35, were admitted to the Party last year, figures from the Organization Department show.

With regard to Party organizations in private businesses, Ouyang said at least 85 per cent of eligible private businesses have set up grass-root organizations.

Source: China Daily

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