Beijing: Corruption remained the biggest risk for the ruling Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, as he vowed to pursue his anti-graft efforts for a long period as people count on its strong leadership in stormy times.
The fight against corruption and strong leadership were the two main political catchphrases which Xi, 67, effectively used to consolidate his hold on the Communist Party of China (CPC), which ruled the country since it emerged as People’s Republic of China in 1949.
“People feel deeply that in stormy times the strong leadership of the party and the authority of the CPC Central Committee are what they can always count on,” Xi said while addressing the CPC’s powerful anti-corruption body the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
“Corruption, as the biggest risk to the Party’s governance, still exists,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
He said that old and new types of corruption have become intertwined.
“The struggle between corruption and anti-corruption efforts will continue to exist for a long period to come,” Xi said, hinting that his anti-graft drive, which made him popular in the country, would continue.
He said there was “no alternative in the anti-corruption fight, and we must move ahead in spite of difficulties.”
Making the anti-corruption fight the lynchpin of his leadership, Xi — who took over power in 2012 — firmed up his hold on the party, the two million strong world’s largest military and the Presidency to emerge as the most powerful leader after CPC founder Mao Zedong.
Critics point out that since his emergence at the helm, the one-party state has emerged as one leader country.
According to official figures, over a million officials including top military generals were punished or purged for corruption and abuse of power in the first five years of Xi’s tenure.
With the prospect of life-term in the office like Mao Zedong, following a constitutional amendment removing the two-year term limit, Xi continues to flaunt corruption as the major threat to the CPC’s continuation in power.
The party which is poised to celebrate its centenary in July this year also projects Xi’s strong leadership as the necessity to deal with coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and its political fallout globally.
Historic achievements have been made but the situation remains challenging and complex, Xi said.
Though COVID-19 cases continue to surface in parts of the country, China has largely controlled the pandemic while it continues to rage across the world with over two million deaths.
China’s official coronavirus death toll stands at 4,635 with over 87,900 total cases.