BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- China is gaining ground to overcome corruption, President Xi Jinping said at an anti-graft meeting on Tuesday, urging confidence in the campaign.
"Party members should maintain confidence in the Communist Party of China [CPC] Central Committee's anti-corruption volition, the campaign's achievements, the positive energy it brings and the prospects of our fight against corruption," Xi said at the start of the three-day sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
"To forge iron, one must be strong," Xi said, citing a traditional Chinese proverb to underline the Party's resolve to become corruption-free.
Over the past three years, the CPC has been working hard to redress the problem of being too lenient in managing the Party, and has striven to build a system where officials "do not dare, are not able, and are unwilling to be corrupt."
The efforts are paying off, according to the president. The deterrent effect has been fully exerted, and an atmosphere where officials are "unable and unwilling to engage in corruption" is coming into being.
The CPC Central Committee remains determined to combat corruption, he said.
"(Winning) the people's support is the top political priority," Xi said. He added the anti-corruption drive has boosted people's faith in and support for the Party, and people speak highly of the anti-corruption drive.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012, China has intensified its anti-corruption drive and punished a large number of corrupt officials in accordance with the law, including former senior leaders such as Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, Guo Boxiong and Ling Jihua.
On Tuesday, Li Dongsheng, former vice minister of public security, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for accepting bribes.
"The CPC is fulfilling its promise of strictly governing the Party, which has won it public trust and support, and such popular support will bring huge 'dividend,'" said Gao Bo, a political researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The CPC will reinforce the efforts until it accomplishes the final goal," said Gao. He said the current achievements demonstrate that the Party has found a right path in the war against corruption, and it will absolutely win the war by sticking to the path.
Xi said that since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has incorporated the task of comprehensively and strictly governing the Party into the "Four comprehensives," the strategic objectives outlined in the blueprint for China's future.
The CPC has made building Party integrity, clean governance, and the fight against corruption integral to strictly governing the Party in an all around manner, Xi said.
The CCDI, in implementing decisions of the CPC Central Committee, has propelled significant and new achievements in building Party integrity, clean governance and battling corruption, Xi said.
The Party has continued to correct undesirable work styles including formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance. It has also strengthened intra-Party supervision, giving full play to inspection groups and exerting greater efforts in pursuing fugitives and recovering stolen assets, according to the president.
The opening of the session was chaired by top graft buster Wang Qishan and attended by leaders including Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli.
TASK FOR 2016
President Xi said that anti-corruption efforts should not be relaxed in 2016 in order to deter fresh cases from emerging.
The campaign against corruption should continue to cover all sectors and zero tolerance will be shown to violators, Xi said.
In addition to intensified efforts in bringing back fugitive officials suspected of corruption, anti-corruption agencies should also be serious in handling misconduct at the grassroots level, according to Xi.
Violators should be severely punished to safeguard people's immediate interests, he said, adding the achievements of the anti-corruption campaign should be more tangible for members of the public.
The president stressed the importance of respecting the Party Constitution and that its rules and regulations must be followed strictly.
Party committees and disciplinary watchdogs at all levels should strengthen their supervision over implementation of the Party Constitution, in addition to the Party's policies and decisions, so as to ensure decrees issued by the CPC Central Committee are obeyed, Xi said.
Any behavior that violates Party anti-corruption rules should be punished, Xi said, adding that no matter how many offenders are found, they should face punishment.
Xi also stressed the necessity of upholding traditional Chinese culture in the cultivation of good work style, urging leading officials to highlight honesty while managing their families.
He urged leading officials, especially high-ranking ones, to be clean in exercising power in addition to setting good examples in abiding by the law and discipline.
DISCIPLINE STRICTER THAN LAW
Xi said discipline must be stricter than law to rein in all Party members, adding strengthened supervision and discipline inspection must be carried out.
He urged leading officials to strengthen their political alertness and ability to discern political affairs, take a firm stand, remember their political responsibility and always be loyal to the Party.
While calling for strengthened intra-Party supervision and supervision of state organs, Xi said the accountability system must be reinforced to hold any violators responsible.
The structure and organization of the supervision system must be optimized, Xi added, vowing to intensify inspection tours and deepen the practice.
Xi also highlighted graft-busters as the main force for the CPC to govern itself, saying CPC committees at all levels must support the work of discipline inspection commissions.
The president urged these graft-busters to set a high bar for themselves and take the lead to defend the Party constitution.