China’s new paramount leader, Xi Jinping, is making the fight against corruption his No. 1 mission.
In several speeches since he took over the reins of the Communist Party last November, he has warned that corruption could lead to “the collapse of the Party and the downfall of the state.”
Xi sees corruption as a threat to the party’s legitimacy.
He exhorted fellow leaders to learn from the experience of other countries where “corruption has played a big role in conflicts that grew over lengthy periods, and … led to popular discontent, social unrest and the overthrow of the political power.”
Xi urged officials to “build a clean government, show self-discipline and restrain their relatives and associates.”
Chosen to lead the cleanup is Wang Qishan, 64, who until recently was China’s economic-finance czar and now is chief of the Party’s anti-corruption body.
Wang, also known as a “firefighter,” is a no-nonsense, blunt-talking administrator and has been a go-to trouble shooter.
In the 1990s, he was sent to Guangdong to clean up the “debt crisis” in the southern province.
Years later, he was dispatched to Hainan province to curb rampant smuggling and corruption.
In 2003, he was called to Beijing to replace the city mayor accused of covering up the SARS crisis, the massive pandemic that spread across China and beyond.
Wang’s political skills will be put to test in his new job.
Corruption has long been a major public complaint, and there is certainly no shortage of cases.
Read the rest of the report here.