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Sound Progress of the New and Great Project of Party Building Since the 16th National Congress of the CPC
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The Communist Party of China (CPC) is a Marxist political party that has always paid great attention to strengthening and improving its own building in light of its historical mission. Since the 16th National Congress of the CPC five years ago, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, by making correct judgments about the changes and development of international situations, by having a correct understanding of China's basic conditions and the Party's historical position, goals and tasks, has led the whole Party to embark on the new and great project of promoting Party building in an all-round way in the spirit of reform and innovation, and has scored significant achievements in the building of the Party's ideology, organization, working style and system, as well as in anti-corruption and building a clean Party. The Party's creativity, cohesion and combat effectiveness have further been strengthened.


Looking back at the development over the past five years, our deepest impression is that the Party Central Committee attaches great importance to Party building. All plenary sessions of the Party Central Committee and of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, and other relevant important Party Central Committee meetings, as well as important documents all made plans for and set forth requirements for Party building. In particular, the great strategic thought of the outlook on scientific development advanced by the Party Central Committee has become an important guiding principle that must be adhered to for a long time to come in the drive to build socialism with Chinese characteristics and to promote Party building; the important proposition of enhancing the Party's advanced nature set forth by the Party Central Committee has further clarified the fundamental task and eternal topic of Party building under the conditions of reform and opening-up; and the new requirement for strengthening Party building in an all-round way with emphasis on strengthening the Party's capability of governance has laid a solid foundation for the Party to be always the strong core of leadership in the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The important ideas and instructions set forth by the Party Central Committee --such as building a high-caliber contingent of cadres good at ruling the country and handling government affairs, always keeping in mind the "two must's" and encouraging good styles in eight aspects, strengthening the intra-Party regulations system with the Party's Constitution as the core, intra-Party democracy being the lifeline of the Party, and using intra-Party harmony to promote social harmony -- have pointed the direction for strengthening and improving Party building in the new situation. Meanwhile, the Party Central Committee has taken the lead in being exemplary in promoting Party building. Shortly after the Party's 16th National Congress, the new Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee took the initiative to improve the deliberation procedures and decision-making rules, and strictly followed them. It set out to improve and follow the study system. It reported on its work to the plenary session of the Party Central Committee. It conducted investigations and research and solicited opinions and comments widely before decisions were made on major issues. Members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau took the lead in taking part in educational activities of the Party's advanced nature; they went to localities with which they kept contacts to make investigations and give specific guidance, setting good examples for the whole Party.


Over the past five years, Party organizations at all levels and all Party members, with the enthusiastic support and cooperation of the masses, have conscientiously implemented the Party Central Committee's plans and requirements and made great efforts in promoting the new and great project of Party building, thus enabling Party building to provide a firm guarantee for the continual development of the great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.


Since the 16th National Congress of the CPC, new achievements in the Party's organizational work -- an important component of Party building -- are manifested in the following aspects:


1. Theoretical innovation and inculcation are fruitful.


Since the Party's 16th National Congress, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, standing at a vantage point of history and times, has constantly promoted theoretical innovation. It has put forth a series of important strategic ideas, such as people being the most important, realizing scientific development, building a harmonious socialist society, building a new socialist countryside, building an innovative state, fostering a socialist outlook on honor and disgrace, promoting the building of a harmonious world, and strengthening the building of the Party's advanced nature. These important strategic ideas are the latest achievements of the application of Marxism in China. They are the common ideological foundation for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in their united struggle. In accordance with the requirement that each step of advance in the Party's theoretical innovation must be followed by the same advance in theoretical inculcation, we persist in using the latest achievements of the application of Marxism in China to arm the cadres. Leading cadres above the county (division) level have basically met the requirement that they be released from work to have at least accumulatively three months of training within a period of five years. The Party's innovative theories are becoming more and more popular with Party members; the Party cadres' ability to guide their work with these theories and solve practical problems has improved constantly. The Party Central Committee has also issued and implemented the "Regulations on Cadres' Education and Training (trial)" and the "Plan of Education and Training for Cadres Throughout the Country (2006-2010)." Cadre schools have been established in Pudong, Jinggangshan and Yan'an, and are open to enroll students. Similar is the Senior Managers' College in Dalian. The education and training of cadres has now become institutionalized, and the infrastructural foundation has been further strengthened.


2. Major achievements have been made in educational activities to maintain the advanced nature of Party members.


In accordance with the plans of the Party Central Committee, and on the basis of experiments at selected points and careful preparations made, in January 2005 the Party launched educational activities to maintain the advanced nature of Party members, focusing on carrying out the important thought of the "Three Represents" among all Party members. When this activity came, by and large, to an end in June 2006, 3.5 million grassroots Party organizations and nearly 70 million Party members had participated in the activity. Treating the educational activities to maintain the advanced nature of Party members as "priority among priorities" in Party building, Party committees at all levels did conscientious organizational work for the activities, which generated fruitful, practical, institutional and theoretical achievements, and met the requirement of making the activities a project in which specific achievements were made and with which the masses were truly satisfied. This is a successful practice in strengthening the building of the Party's governance abilities and the building of the Party's advanced nature. Taking the educational activities to maintain the advanced nature of the Party as a good opportunity, the Party has strengthened the building of grassroots Party organizations and the ranks of Party members, and expanded the coverage of Party work. As a result, the Party organizations' creativity, cohesion and combat effectiveness have been strengthened, and Party members' exemplary vanguard role has been further brought into play.


3. Intra-Party democracy continues to expand.


Since the 16th National Congress of the CPC, the Party has, taking guaranteeing the democratic rights of its members as the foundation and perfecting the Party congress system and the Party committee system as the focus, and in line with the requirement of establishing and perfecting an intra-Party democratic system that gives full expression to the wishes of Party members and Party organizations, made persistent efforts in exploring avenues of and opening up channels for expanding intra-Party democracy, and achieved significant progress in this work. In December 2003, the Party Central Committee enacted the "Regulations on Intra-Party Supervision (trial)," laying down for the first time the focuses, channels, methods and other key issues concerning intra-Party supervision in the form of Party regulations. The Party officially issued the "Regulations on Guaranteeing the Rights of Members of the Communist Party of China" to truly protect rights of Party members. Moreover, the Party amended the "Regulations on the Work of Local Party Committees" to improve the intra-Party deliberation procedures and decision-making rules, thus facilitating scientific and democratic decision-making. Furthermore, the Party has attached greater importance to the role of the plenary meetings, established the system that the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee reports on its work to and receives supervision from the Party Central Committee, and local Party committees at all levels report on their work to and receive supervision from the standing committees of Party committees at a higher level, and promoted the voting system for local Party committees to discuss and decide on major issues and the appointment of key cadres. The Party probed into various means of expanding intra-Party democracy and gave full play to the exemplary and leading role of intra-Party democracy as regards people's democracy, thus bringing about a sound situation in which intra-Party democracy and people's democracy enhance each other and develop together.


4. Significant headway has been made in the building of leading bodies and cadre ranks.


Since the Party's 16th National Congress, the Party has timely shifted the focus of leading body building to ideological and political building. It convened symposiums on the ideological and political building of leading bodies in the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, Party and state organs, institutions of higher learning and state-owned enterprises, gave wide publicity to the socialist outlook of honor and disgrace, and guided the broad masses of cadres to foster sound ethos in eight aspects, creating a situation of reinforcing and advancing ideological and political building in an all-round way. In the new round of the election of local leading bodies in the latter half of 2005, the Party actively pushed forward the restructuring of the leading bodies, and achieved substantial progress in reducing the number of leading positions and deputy secretaries of Party committees, increasing cross appointments between members of Party and government leading bodies, and regulating the age requirements for appointment. In addition, the Party has made assessments of candidates for new leading bodies in accordance with the "Trial Measures for the Comprehensive Assessment of Local Party and Government Leading Bodies and Cadres Based on the Outlook on Scientific Development." It has actively explored new measures to expand democracy and further guarantee the cadres and common people's right to know, participate in, choose and supervise in the selection of cadres. Meanwhile, the Party has intensified the building of the ranks of young, women, ethnic minority and non-Party cadres, actively promoted position exchanges of cadres, and continued to improve the structure and overall quality of cadre contingents.


5. Reform of the cadre and personnel system and innovation of Party organizational system continue to develop in depth.


Over the past few years, the Party, responding to the requirements and plans of its Central Committee and in line with the traits and law of the cadre and personnel system reform, has persisted in making institutional building a key aspect of advancing the reform while making earnest efforts in implementing the reform measures already adopted. It has helped in enacting and implementing the "Civil Servant Law," and in enacting a dozen or so regulations on open selection, appointment through competition, tenure system, exchange, avoidance system and other issues, initially establishing a relatively complete law and regulation system for cadre and personnel work. Furthermore, breakthroughs have been made in some key and difficult issues regarding cadre and personnel work, the personnel system reform of state-owned enterprises has been further deepened, and the personnel mechanism of public institutions has improved continuously. Hence, overall progress has been gained in the reform of the cadre and personnel system. At the same time, the Party has expedited innovation in its organizational system in an active and steady manner in accordance with the requirement of expanding intra-Party democracy. It has made serious efforts to expand the scope of direct election for members of the leading bodies of grassroots Party organizations and to tentatively implement the permanent tenure system of Party congresses at the county level. The Party has also enhanced the transparency of its work to enable the broad masses of Party members to know about and participate in intra-Party affairs. It has advanced the reform of the intra-Party election system in an active and steady manner in the election of new leading bodies, improved the nomination method, and appropriately expanded the scope and proportion of competitive election. The Party has energetically promoted the "Party member commitment system," and guided the broad masses of Party members to do well in contacting and serving the people. Moreover, the Party has strengthened and improved the management of migrant Party members, and instituted an "activity certificate system" for them, gradually forming a coordinated national management network of migrant Party members. In addition, the Party has put in place a modern system of remote education for Party cadres in the rural areas, and reinforced the training of grassroots Party cadres by taking advantage of information technology.


6. The work on the able and skilled has been strengthened.


In December 2003, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council jointly held the National Work Conference on Human Resources, which decided to strengthen the work in this regard, and put forth the guideline, overall requirements and goals. Party committees at all levels and their organization departments take it as a basic assignment for their work to adhere to the principle that the Party be in charge of cadres and to implement the strategy of "making China strong by employing talented people." For this, they have attached great importance to the three links of training, attracting and utilizing talented people, and laid simultaneous stress on the development of the contingents of Party and government cadres, enterprise management personnel, professional and technical personnel, as well as high-caliber and competent people needed in the rural areas. Thanks to such efforts, the work on the able and skilled has attained a good momentum. A new framework in this regard has taken initial shape with Party committees providing overall leadership, the organization departments making coordination, the various departments concerned performing their own duties and cooperating with each other, and all sectors of society extensively participating.


7. The supervision over cadres has been strengthened amidst innovations.


In recent years, Party organizations at all levels and their organization departments have made it a focus of surveillance to tighten supervision over the leading groups and leading cadres, especially principal ones. The system of cadres reporting on their work and clean governance, the system of admonition talks and inquiry by letter, and the system of cadres reporting on important personal matters have all been universally implemented. Strict auditing of the economic responsibilities of Party and government leading cadres at and below the county level during their terms of office is being practiced, and the scope has been extended to the prefecture and department levels. Supervision over the selection and appointment of cadres has been intensified, and inspection of the implementation of the "Regulations on the Appointment of Cadres" and complementary provisions and documents has been carried out. The system of supervision of serious violations regarding cadre appointment has been established. From 2003 to 2006, a total of 9,378 people were investigated for violating organizational and personnel discipline, and punishments were meted out in accordance with Party or government disciplinary provisions. The ways of supervision and the supervisory mechanism have been constantly improved. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, and the Party committees of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have established inspection organizations or inspection groups, and opened the unified "12380" report and complaint line nationwide.


Significant achievements have been scored in the endeavor to foster the Party style of clean and honest governance and anti-corruption efforts. Over the past five years, we have pushed forward such efforts based on previous progress, and made constant innovations along with our reform, and have achieved remarkable new progress. The progress is especially evident in our investigation of major and serious cases, ferreting out corrupt officials, expediting institutional building, intensifying supervision over leading cadres, curbing commercial bribery, and correcting malpractices that harm the interests of the public. Over the past five years, the work of discipline inspection has been institutionalized and standardized, the campaign to foster the Party style of clean and honest governance and fight corruption has been widely launched and corruption has been further contained.


While summarizing the achievements, we are well aware of the problems regarding Party building: The Party's governance capacity does not yet entirely meet the requirements of the new situation and new tasks; some grassroots Party organizations are feeble and lax; a small number of Party members and leading cadres have bad styles of work; formalism and bureaucracy are still conspicuous; and extravagance and waste, slack attitudes and corruption still remain serious. All these pose a heavy load for us to maintain the Party's advanced nature, requiring long and unremitting efforts. We believe that, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, and in accordance with the strategic plans set forth at the 17th National Congress of the CPC, and with the joint efforts of the whole Party and great support from the people, new prospects will surely open up for the new and great project of Party building, which, in turn, will provide a firm guarantee for promoting the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.


By Ouyang Song Deputy Head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, October 17, 2007
 
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