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"Mass line" campaign key to consolidate CPC's ruling status

By Meng Na (Xinhua)

08:14, June 19, 2013

BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) -- About two weeks prior to the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the world's biggest ruling Party has reaffirmed its "mass line" -- an important guideline defining Party-people relations.

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said Tuesday that the Party's upcoming year-long campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee decided at a conference in April to launch the campaign to boost ties between Party members and the public from the latter half of this year.

The move will focus on officials at or above county level, who are required to reflect on their own practices and correct any misbehavior.

"Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CPC's survival or extinction," Xi stressed.

The mass line requires the Party to give top priority to the interests of the people, share weal and woe with them, maintain the closest possible ties with them and persist in exercising power for them, showing concern for them and working for their interests.

It also means that the CPC does everything for the people, relies on people in every task and carries out the principle of "from the masses, to the masses."

The Constitution of the CPC says that "the Party has no special interests of its own apart from the interests of the working class and the broadest masses of the people."

Over the past decades, China has grown to be the world's second largest economy with hundreds of millions of individuals' lives being improved.

During the period, China exempted agricultural tax, has provided free nine-year compulsory education and has established a basic medical care system that nearly covers the whole nation, all of which, among others, contribute to the solid Party-people relations.

However, not all the issues could be resolved through economic development. In the era of informatization, democratization and globalization, it becomes much more difficult for the Party to coordinate people's diversified interest.

Moreover, a slew of Party members and officials do not care about people's weal and woe, testing their relations with people.

Corruption still exists. Former railways minister Liu Zhijun stood trial in Beijing earlier this month on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

Several senior officials have been investigated, such as Liu Tienan, former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Li Chuncheng, former vice-secretary of the CPC committee of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

As the Party Constitution says, the biggest political advantage of the Party lies in its close ties with the masses while the biggest potential danger for it as a governing party comes from its divorce from them.

It is high time for the CPC to launch an education campaign in which Party members are required to "watch from the mirror, groom oneself, take a bath and seek remedies," or in brief, to reflect on their own practices and correct any misbehavior.

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