China’s new Communist chief Xi Jinping has warned that corruption has the potential not only to destabilise the party but also bring about the collapse of the country.
Xi told a closed door meeting of members of the new Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) over the weekend that rampant corruption in other countries had recently brought about large-scale unrest and collapse of governments.
Referring to an old Chinese proverb, Xi said: “Things must first rot, before worms grow.”
Without taking the name of any country, or directly referring to Arab Spring phenomenon, Xi said that in recent years a number of regimes collapsed because of a “long-term accumulation of contradictions” of which corruption was a “very important reason.”
Xi said that large number of facts revealed if the problem of corruption becomes increasingly severe it will lead to the ruin of the party and the country.
State-run Xinhua carried Xi’s speech on Monday in its Chinese language website.
Xi, who was named CPC general secretary last week, said party members should take a clear stand against corruption and never allow abuse of power by relatives.
"Recently, our party has had serious discipline and legal cases of a despicable nature which has had a bad political effect and shocked people," he said, without naming any of these incidents.
Corruption investigations have targeted high-level leaders recently, most notably former Politburo member Bo Xilai, who was sacked from the Party this year after an aide disclosed that Bo's wife murdered a British businessman. Bo has been accused of obstructing the investigation into the murder as well as unspecified corruption while in office.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg news claimed that Xi’s extended family had accumulated huge wealth indicating that they had used the politician’s connections to do so. A similar New York Times report had indicated the same about outgoing premier Wen Jiabao’s family.
Meanwhile on Monday, two important new appointments were made by the new Party regime replacing two top leaders from the earlier establishment.
Former public security minister Meng Jianzhu was named head of the Political Science and Law Commission that oversees police and the courts, replacing Zhou Yongkang.
Zhao Leji, the former party boss of the northern province of Shaanxi, was named the new head of the Organisation Department that decides key government and party appointments. He takes over from Li Yuanchao, considered an ally of outgoing President Hu Jintao, who last week failed to gain a seat on the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee.