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September 19, 2009

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Intra-Party democracy to be boosted

COMMUNIST Party of China leaders vowed yesterday to enhance intra-Party democracy by improving Party congress and election systems.

Less than two weeks ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the 17th CPC Central Committee wrapped up a plenary session yesterday that called for improving the democratic decision-making mechanism within the Party in order to maintain the CPC's "centralization and unity."

After the four-day, closed-door meeting, the Party Central Committee agreed that advancing intra-Party democracy drives "people's democracy." It said the "mission to manage the Party strictly has never been as arduous and urgent" as it is now.

In a communique, the committee acknowledged many problems exist within the Party that run counter to "new circumstances" and the Party's character, and these problems "are severely weakening the Party's creativity, unity and effectiveness."

The communique said these drawbacks are also "severely" harming the ties "of flesh and blood" between the Party and people and the strengthening of the Party's rule.

It said deep changes in the world, the country and the Party have raised new requirements for Party building, and all Party members should be vigilant about the problems and solve them quickly.

It said the challenges the Party faces in reform, the market economy and the outside environment are "long term, complicated and arduous."

It urged all Party members to be prepared for danger in times of peace and advance Party building to ensure the organization's "backbone" position in people's minds when coping with domestic and overseas challenges.

It challenged Party members to be innovative, creative and never be closed-minded or "stand still."

Yu Keping, a prominent theorist who serves as deputy director of the Party Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, said people's democracy is the ultimate goal of China's democratic politics, and the Party's internal democracy is the spearhead to achieve the ultimate goal.

Political scientists said the Party's efforts to position itself as a more transparent and democratic ruling organization reflects its increasing preparedness for the "new situation," which was characterized in the communique as "long-term, complicated and draconian tests" for the Party's ruling capability, the reform and opening policy, adoption of a market economy and adaptation to outside circumstances.

Wang Changjiang, a scholar at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said "the new situation" might be a combination of diversified problems, such as the economic downturn, mass incidents and ethnic issues. Wang's alert coincided with the perspective of the Party central leadership, which says in the communique, "It has never been so onerous and pressing that the Party must effectively manage and discipline itself."

One solution to these challenges is to increase teams of "high-caliber cadres" through democratic, open, competitive and merit-based selection channels.

The communique said the Party should encourage the best people to stand out from their peers and take key Party and governmental posts.

The Party vowed to resolutely fight corruption and "fully explore the arduous and complicated nature of the combat against corruption."

The communique said the fight against corruption was a "major political task" the Party must always be implemented well.


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