Why CPC resolutely safeguards political discipline

15:19, June 02, 2011      

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People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, released an article titled "Resolutely Safeguarding the Party's Political Discipline" by Zhong Jiwen on May 25, which attracted wide attention from various overseas media.

This article pointed out that the Party's political discipline is the rule of safeguarding the Party's political principles, political orientation and political line, and regulating political speech, political actions and the political stand of Party organizations and members. It is the most important discipline of the CPC. The article lists recent incidents of certain Party members and cadres who violated the Party's political discipline.

Experts on the history of the CPC and Party building said that the Communist Party of China is different from any economic or social organization. Political discipline is the basis for all of the Party's disciplines and the basic condition for keeping the Party's characteristics. Therefore, all Party members and cadres must strictly adhere to the Party's political discipline and firmly safeguard its seriousness and authority.

Having experienced an extraordinary 90-year course, the Party is now faced with "four tests," namely the test of governance, the test of reform and opening up, the test of the market economy and the test of the external environment. The position, surroundings and tasks of the Communist Party of China and the new changes of the Party have also brought new challenges for Party building.

For example, various decadent Western ideas have slipped into China as it has absorbed and introduced foreign capital, advanced technologies and management experiences with the growing expansion of the opening up policy. Accelerating the implementation of their strategic "Westernization" and "secession" attempts, hostile Western forces are using various means to launch ideological penetration in China. The contradictions and struggles in the field of ideology have become more complex and intense.

"As the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC is approaching, the CPC reaffirmed the necessity of Party members and cadres abiding by the political discipline because the phenomenon of violating the Party's political discipline by some Party members and cadres indeed exists in certain scopes and to a certain degree. They are detrimental to the Party's unity and solidarity," said Dai Yanjun, deputy director of the Department of Party Building under the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The Communist Party of China has always emphasized abiding by the political discipline during various periods such as the age of revolutions, the socialist construction period and the reform and opening up period. The Party recently reaffirmed the necessity of safeguarding the Party's political discipline, which runs consistently through the 90-year course of the Party building, and complies with provisions of the "Constitution of the Communist Party of China."

The first chapter of the Party's constitution specifies the obligation of Party members and requires them to "conscientiously observe the Party discipline, abide by the laws and regulations of the state in an exemplary way, rigorously guard secrets of the Party and state, execute the Party's resolutions and accept any job and actively fulfill any tasks assigned by the Party." Party members have the obligation to "uphold the Party's solidarity and unity, be loyal to and honest with the Party, match words with deeds, firmly oppose all factions and small-clique activities and oppose double-dealing and dirty tricks of any kind."

"If members and cadres of the Party lack the awareness of being absolutely loyal and responsible to the Party, the Party will fail to achieve unity within the organization or internal solidarity. If the members and cadres of the Party are not absolutely loyal to the Party, the Party will lose its capacity to fight," Dai said.

China's reform, opening-up and the socialist modernization drive is currently at a crucial period and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Party coincides with the first year of the 12th Five-Year Plan period. Observing the Party's political discipline concerns the Party Central Committee's authority and the implementation of its resolutions and serves as a political guarantee of fulfilling the Party's goals.

CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao has reiterated the political discipline issue many times. He said that observing the Party's discipline should start with observing the Party’s political discipline. He also proposed the "six never-allows" requirements for Party members and cadres.

According to the article written by "Zhong Jiwen," the Party's political discipline serves as a "high-tension line," within the scope of which, any Party members, no matter how high their reputation and position are within the Party, will be subject to serious criticism, education or disciplinary punishment if they violate the Party’s political discipline. If their activities lead to serious consequences, they will surely be punished according to the law.

Party history experts said that emphasizing the Party's political discipline is consistent with the Party's intra-Party democracy because the Party's constitution has stipulated in the chapter about the rights of Party members that in case of disagreements with a Party resolution or policy, Party members can make reservations, present their views to Party organizations at higher levels even up to the Party Central Committee and ask related organizations to give responsible replies, provided that they resolutely carry out the resolution or policy.

"It is worth drawing particular attention to the words 'provided that they resolutely carry out the resolution' and 'Party organizations at higher levels,'" Dai said.

"Provided that they resolutely carry out the resolution," means that once the Party makes a resolution, Party members must absolutely submit to it and execute the resolution despite reservations. "Party organizations at higher levels" has specified the channels for Party members to put forward their views that must be the Party's internal channels instead of public channels.

Party policies are developed through democratic consultation and brainstorming and are the epitome of the will and values of the Party. Democratic decision-making as well as loyal and obedient Party members have ensured the rapid and effective implementation of Party policies.

The essence of democracy is majority rule, and intra-Party democracy is no exception. According to the Party’s constitution, the basic principles of the Party's democratic centralism are that Party members must be subordinate to Party organizations, the minority must be subordinate to the majority, the lower Party organizations must be subordinate to the higher ones, and all Party organizations and members must be subordinate to the Central Committee and the National Party Congress.

Xie Chuntao, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said that it is normal and understandable that Party members sometimes disagree with the decisions made by Party organizations. In that case, they should firmly abide by the decisions and submit their own proposals to Party organizations at a higher level in hopes that the proposals will be accepted. The most known example in this respect is Mao Zedong, one of the founders of the CPC and the core figure of the People's Republic of China's first generation leadership.

Mao Zedong was deprived of the leadership over Party and military affairs during the Chinese Soviet Republic period because of his dissent from the Party policy at that time. Mao reserved his opinions, which later proved to be correct, and firmly abided by the Central Committee's decision. At the same time, he made efforts to win over the majority of the Party members and finally had his correct opinions accepted at the Zunyi Conference. Despite disagreements, Mao did not forget to protect the Party’s unity and general interests.

Xie said that the CPC has drawn valuable lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union, the failed communist rule in Eastern Europe and the current international wave of unrest. As China's only ruling party in the past 62 years, the Communist Party of China has developed an awareness of future risks, and has realized the importance of urging all Party members to strictly observe the Party’s political discipline.

Party cadres noted that in order to completely eliminate violations of the Party's political discipline, the Communist Party of China needs to enhance members' awareness of the Party's general interests, sense of responsibility, governing capacity and political awareness. In addition, it should also further improve intra-Party democracy so Party members can express their different opinions through various channels.

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