Editor's note: President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has said in an article published by Xinhua News Agency that the mission to improve the Party's work styles is a long-term project and highlighted the need to combat new forms of misconduct. Two experts share their views with China Daily's Zhang Zhouxiang on how to achieve that goal. Excerpts follow:
Punish officials for not doing their job
Talking about the "misconduct" of officials, Xi focused on four problems: Formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. Xi said these problems are old in nature, and urged Party and government departments in all areas and sectors to check their own performance in this regard and take concrete measures to rectify their problems.
Xi has hit the nail on the head. The Eight Provisions, issued by the CPC Central Committee after the 18th CPC National Congress, brought these bad habits of officials to a halt.
Yet in the past few years, many officials have let down their guard. For example, when the top leadership instructs Party members and government officials nationwide about something, some officials tend to hold meetings, read the documents, and do nothing after that. And when the people seek their help, some officials are rather reluctant to perform their duty even though they are obliged to help the people.
There are two ways of combating this. First, the drafting and implementation of inner-Party discipline should be strengthened, so that the officials who do not perform their duties are duly punished. For example, there should be a clear timetable on how much time an official needs to perform a particular type of job in the service of the people. And if he or she fails to complete the job within the deadline, he or she should be held accountable.
Second, Party committees at all levels should better play their leading role in society, and the Party discipline committees at the corresponding levels must strictly supervise the Party committees, because the latter exercise a lot of power. The 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has done an excellent job and the 19th CCDI has to perform better.
Zhang Xixian, a professor of Party building studies at the Central Party School
Leadership determined to root out problems
The four misconducts mentioned by Xi are intertwined. For instance, the "laziness" of certain officials who are supposed to serve the people but do not can be termed both bureaucratism and formalism, because they disobey the orders of the central leadership and build a bureaucratic wall against the people.
Xi said: "The efforts to address such misconduct should not be stopped and the work to improve the Party's conduct and work styles should never end". That reflects the top leadership's determination to root out these problems.
The solution to these problems lies in strengthening Party building. Xi has more than once emphasized this issue, which can be roughly divided into two parts.
First, Xi has urged Party branches at all levels to gain knowledge, and study classics and important Party documents, which are very important for Party building, because when Party members of the same branch study together, it is easier for them to have a deeper understanding of the Party discipline and to obey them.
There are around 4 million Party branches nationwide. If all of them organize Party members to study together, the fight against the four misconducts will be smooth.
Second, the education of Party members should be strengthened, so that each Party member wholeheartedly believes in communism. We need true communists rather than people who only carry the label of Party members.
Lyu Jia, an associate professor of Marxism studies at Tsinghua University
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