In a stern warning to top Communist Party leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told them to strictly manage the people close to them to prevent corruption or they will meet the fate of fallen leaders like Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang who were jailed for life.
At the latest “democratic life meeting” of the 25-member politburo, top cadres of the ruling Communist Party, Xi told his colleagues to “strictly manage” the people close to them to prevent corruption, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Xi, who has become a “supreme leader” in the mould of former strongman Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, asked top party leaders to “learn from the fall” of their colleagues Zhou and Bo who are among thousands of officials serving stiff prison terms for corruption and abuse of power.
62-year-old Xi heads the party, government and the military, making him the most powerful Chinese leaders in recent times.
Zhou, regarded as the Czar of previous Hu Jintao regime by heading the national security, and Bo, a hardline leader who was regarded as rival against Xi in 2012 leadership succession of the party, are currently serving life terms.
Xi, who is credited for carrying out a massive anti-graft campaign both in the party, government and the military, is also criticised for using it to consolidate his leadership position neutralising party’s collective leadership structure.
Under the party power structure, Xi is due to continue in the leadership position till 2022.
At the meeting, Xi asked fellow leaders to act as role models and to monitor and correct the behaviour of wayward members of their families or people working for them, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported today.
He said without self-discipline, cadres were at risk of losing their ethics as they rose through the ranks.
He also cited top military officials like Xu Caihou, Guo Boxiong and Ling Jihua, close aide of former President Hu, who were exposed with anti-graft probes.
“Comrades of the politburo must not feel any superiority in terms of power and position,” Xi said.
The top leadership agreed to continue to educate party cadres above county level to reinforce the achievements of the anti-corruption drive and stressed that the campaign must continue, the report said.
Participants at the closed door meeting are supposed to engage in open criticism and self-criticism.
Since ascending to power, Xi has been using democratic life meetings to revive the Maoist tradition of “mass line” – or following the masses, the Post reported.
The first democratic life meeting of the politburo under his reign lasted four days in June 2013, themed on anti-corruption.