A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official said on Thursday that, though corruption is widespread, an education campaign is being run to improve the quality of officials and reduce the incidence of corruption cases.
"It is true that with regard to our grassroots cadres, some of them probably are less competent and are not able to resolve problems that have triggered group petitions or protests," said Li Jingtian, deputy head of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the CPC.
"Some even abuse their power for personal gain," Li said at a press conference on the CPC's nationwide education campaign to “preserve the advanced nature of Party members.”
The first group of 801,000 grassroots Party organizations and 13.855 million Party members finished their education in the first half of this year.
He said that this "has achieved comparatively remarkable results, won endorsement of Party members and the general public, and is appreciated by all social sectors."
The campaign is aimed to improve the quality of the 69 million Party members and resolve the outstanding problems of some grassroots organizations and members.
"Although the results should not be overestimated, I believe that after this advanced education campaign, corruption cases will be fewer," said Li, also deputy head of the Steering Group for the Education Campaign to Preserve the Advanced Nature of Communist Party Members.
According to the arrangement of the CPC Central Committee, Party organizations and members will join in the education program in three groups each lasting half a year.
The first group involved Party and government organizations at and above the county level and some enterprises and public institutions. The second group will come from urban grassroots units at township level, and the third from rural areas.
In the program, members review the Party Constitution and the "Three Represents," discuss specific requirements for preserving the “advanced nature” of members, solicit opinions from the general public, and then carry out criticism and self-criticism and formulate rectification measures.
Currently, the campaign is being run among the second group of 1.8 million grassroots Party organizations and 30 million members, accounting for 52 and 43 percent of the total respectively, according to Li.
Li said that last year, the CPC expelled 49,000 members.
"We will educate those unqualified Party members in an effort to make them qualified. If they fail to improve, the Party will deal with them strictly according to the Party Constitution," said Li.
The official also denied reports that thousands of CPC members had renounced membership in recent months, saying they were "false rumors spread by people with ulterior motives."
Li said an increasing number of young people and intellectuals are applying to join the CPC after having witnessed its leadership in the country's reform and socialist modernization drive.
Last year, 17.38 million Chinese applied to join the Party, 8.5 percent more than the previous year; and 2.418 million joined, up 8.2 percent, including 894 private entrepreneurs.
The CPC now has more than 69 million members in 3.4 million grassroots units.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2005)