Yesterday, a conference on the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement was convened in Beijing. This conference was attended by the entire Standing Committee, as well as just about the entire top-level Chinese leadership. At this meeting, it was announced that the Party would launch its expected rectification campaign, which has been dubbed ‘Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement’ (党的群众路线教育实践活动 Dang de qunzhong luxian jiaoyu shijian huodong). Since his accession, Xi Jinping has stressed the harm brought onto the Party by corruption and abuse, starting – amongst others – a drive to reduce conspicuous consumption by officials, as well as official banquets and cars. Furthermore, it seems that the notion that the Party has become too large has been gathering pace. In this view, the Party has let in too many people, a good deal of whom lack the conviction and sacrifice that Party membership should entail. In other words, the Party’s corruption problem is not the consequence of perverse incentives created structurally, but of individual failings of morality. In the last few months as well, a debate on constitutionalism and political reform has emerged, in which the Party is called upon to implement the Constitution and protect individual rights. This movement seems to provide a response to this: the relationship between the Party and the people is one of flesh and blood, and must be purged of its bad element in order to remain pure.
As usual, many articles have been written and will be written to analyze the theoretical and political implications of this movement in the usual outlets. Over the next few days, this website will publish translations of a number of them, but unfortunately, Xi’s announcement comes in the middle of exam marking time. For the moment, the official Xinhua version of Xi’s announcement is translated hereunder:
The Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement Work Conference Convenes – Xi Jinping Makes Important Speech.
Xinhua Beijing, 18 June (Journalists Xu Jingyue, Zhou Yingfeng). The Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement Work Conference has convened in Beijing on 18 June, the CCP Central Committee General Secretary, State Chairman and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping attended the conference and made an important speech, to deploy the Mass Line Education and Practice Movement. He emphatically pointed out that launching the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement is a necessary requirement for realizing the struggle objectives determined by the 18th Party Congress, is a necessary requirement for maintaining the progressiveness and purity of the Party, and consolidating the governing basis and governing position of the Party, and is a necessary requirement for resolving prominent issues to which the masses strongly react. The comrades in the entire Party must vigorously participate in this movement, forge close relationships between the Party and the masses, and the cadres and the masses through real actions, and gain the result of the satisfaction of the masses.
CCP Standing Committee of the Politburo members Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended the main meeting, the head of the Central Committee Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement Leading Small Group Liu Yunshan chaired the conference. The conference was organized through teleconferencing.
Xi Jinping stressed that the mass line is the lifeline and basic work line of our Party. To realize the struggle objectives determined by the 18th Party Congress and realize the Chinese Dream of National Rejuvenation, it is necessary to firmly rely on the people, and fully muster the vigour, initiative and creativity of the broadest people. Launching the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement is aimed at ensuring that comrades in the entire Party firmly keep in mind and scrupulously abide by the basic purpose of serving the people with the whole heart and mind, to tightly bring the people together with a fine work style, and to strive and struggle to realize the objectives and tasks determined by the 18th Party Congress.
Xi Jinping pointed out that popular disapproval relates to the life and death of the Party. Only if the Party links heart to heart with the people, breathes together with them, shares the same fate, and relies on the people to drive historical progress throughout, will it be possible to be solid as rocks. Launching the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement is aimed at establishing a deep base for pursuing the values of serving the people, pragmatism and honesty in the thoughts and actions of the comrades in the entire Party, tamping down a basis for Party governance, consolidating the Party’s governing position, strengthening the Party’s creativity, cohesion and fighting strength, and ensuring that there is a broad, thick and reliable mass basis to maintain the Party’s progressiveness and purity and consolidating the Party’s governing basis and governing position.
Xi Jinping stressed that, generally speaking, at present, the situation of all levels’ Party organizations, Party members and cadres implementing the Party’s mass line is good, the relations between the Party and the masses is also good, the broad Party members and cadres have had a pioneering and model function in charging the enemy lines and selfless contribution in all work matters of reform, development and stability, gaining the affirmation and support of the broad popular masses. This is the main stream and must be fully affirmed. At the same time, we must notice that, in the face of deep changes in global circumstances, national circumstances and Party circumstances, the danger of spiritual slackening, the danger of insufficient ability, the danger of becoming separated from the masses and the danger of negativity and corruption have been put in front of the Party more acutely, the phenomenon of becoming separated from the masses exists in great numbers within the Party, which is collectively reflected in the “four styles” of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. We must greatly investigate, greatly overhaul and greatly clean up maladies in work styles and filth in actions.
Xi Jinping pointed out that in launching the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement, the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics must be held high, the spirit of the 18th Party Congress must be completely implemented, and we must, with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents Thought” and the scientific development view as guidance, implement the major work deployments and requirements put forward by the Centre since the 18th Party Committee, closely revolve around maintaining and developing the Party’s progressiveness and purity, realistically strengthen education on the Marxist mass viewpoint and the Party’s mass line for the whole body of Party members with serving the people, pragmatism and honesty as main content, make implementing the spirit of the Eight Rules of the Centre into an entry point, and strive to resolve prominent issues.
Xi Jinping stressed that this education and practice movement’s main task is to focus on work style construction, and collectively resolve the problem of the “four styles” of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. These “four styles” violate our Party’s nature and purpose, they are issues that the masses detest at present, and to which they strongly react. They are also the main source of harm to the relationship between the Party and the masses, and the cadres and the masses. If the problem of the “four styles” is resolved well, there will be better conditions to resolve all other problems existing within the Party.
Xi Jinping pointed out that the education and practice movement must fix eyes upon self-purification, self-perfection, self-innovating and self-improvement, having “seeing oneself in the mirror, correct hats and clothes, cleaning up and treating illness as general requirements. To see oneself in the mirror, the main part is taking the Party Constitution in the mirror, compare oneself with Party discipline, the expectations of the masses and advanced models, compare oneself with the requirements of improving work styles, and put forward problems, look for weak spots and clarify orientations in terms of the sense of purpose, work styles, clean government and self-discipline. Correctly wearing hats and clothes mainly means, according to the requirements of serving the people, pragmatism and honesty, daring to squarely face flaws and insufficiencies, strictly enforcing Party discipline and especially political discipline, daring to touch on thoughts, facing up to contradictions and problems, starting from oneself, starting from the present, rectifying acts, consciously correct self-cultivation on the Party nature, bring Party member duties in order, linking up with Party discipline and state law, and maintain the fine image of the Communist Party. Cleaning up mainly means launching criticism and self-criticism with a spirit of rectifying work styles, deeply analysing the causes of problems that occur, cleansing away the dust on thoughts and actions and maintaining the political essence of the Communist Party. Treating illnesses mainly refers to the principles of persisting in learning from past mistakes and avoiding future ones, curing illnesses and save the patient, differentiate circumstances, suit the medicine to the illness, educate and warn Party members and cadres whose work style has problems, investigate and prosecute those with grave problems, conduct special clean-up of harmful tendencies and prominent issues.
Xi Jinping stressed that we must launch criticism and self-criticism with a spirit of rectifying work styles, convene democratic small-scale meetings, persist in opening the doors and starting activities. The education and practice movement must have county and department-level or higher leading organs, leadership ranks and leading cadres as focus point. All levels’ leading cadres are organizers, drivers and supervisors of the movement, and are even more participants in the movement, they must bring themselves in with the identity of a common Party member, and strive to raise their understanding a level, study a step more deeply, become a stage more advanced in practice, and analyse and resolve prominent problems a notch better. Maintaining the flesh-and-blood relationship between the Party and the popular masses is an eternal task, the work style issue is a repeating and stubborn manner, which must be regularly grasped and grasped for the long term, it is especially necessary to establish and complete long-term mechanisms stimulating Party members and cadres to persist in serving the people, pragmatism and honesty. We must use this movement as a juncture to formulate new rule systems, perfect existing rule systems and abolish unsuitable rule systems. Once rule systems are formed, they must be strictly observed, there can be no exceptions in the implementations of rule systems.
Xi Jinping stressed that all levels’ Party Committees must strengthen a sense of responsibility and sense of urgency, and make launching the education and practice movement into an important political matter, grasp it closely, tightly and truly. It is necessary to clarify tasks and duties, main leaders must grasp this personally; deeply investigate and research matters, formulate realistic and feasible implementation plans; strengthen concrete guidance, guarantee the correct orientation; persist in comprehensive planning, considering all factors, ensuring grasping with two hands, promoting matters with two hands; strengthen propaganda and guidance, create a good public opinion atmosphere.
When chairing the conference, Liu Yunshan pointed out that the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping, from the height of strategy and the overall picture, deeply elaborated the importance of launching the Party’s Mass Line Education and Practice Movement, put forward clear requirements concerning launching criticism and self-criticism with a spirit of work style rectification, striving to resolve prominent issues existing in the area of work styles, stimulating long-term mechanisms spurring Party members and cadres to persist in serving the people, pragmatism and honesty, and strengthening leadership over the education and practice movement, the speech had a strong ideological nature, focus and guiding nature. Everyone must absolutely earnestly study and deeply comprehend this, realistically unify thoughts around the spirit of the speech, use the spirit of the speech to guide the launch of the education and practice movement, and firmly do the education and practice movement well.
The CCP Politburo members in Beijing, the secretaries of the secretariat, the Party members and vice-committee head of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Councillors, the Head of the Supreme People’s Court, the Head of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference attended the main meeting.
Furthermore, the main meeting was attended by: the members of the Central Committee Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement Leading Small Group, relevant responsible comrades from all provinces, regions, municipalities and vice-province-level cities, as well as the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps Party Committee, main responsible comrades from the Party groups (Party committees) of all Centre and State organs’ ministries and commissions, all people’s organizations and centrally-managed enterprises, financial organs and higher education institutes; the director and vice director of the Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement Central Supervision Group, relevant responsible comrades from the People’s Liberation Army and Armed Police.
Members of the leadership ranks of all provinces, regions, municipalities and vice-provincial-level cities, as well as the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps participated in separate meetings.