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Communist Party elite tipped to back new rules to keep cadres loyal

The Communist Party’s top cadres are expected to endorse two sets of rules on conduct that analysts say should tackle a ­perceived lack of loyalty among some in the top ranks towards the party’s leadership.

The new regulations are expected to be presented to the Central Committee’s sixth plenum, a key party gathering that got under way on Monday at the tightly guarded PLA-run Jingxi Hotel in western Beijing.

The plenum is also the most important meeting of the party’s elite before its leadership reshuffle late next year.

Beijing blames disloyalty to the top leadership for most corruption cases among senior cadres. An article in March by the People’s Liberation Army’s mouthpiece newspaper said the fall of two former vice-chairmen of the powerful Central Military Commission was mainly due to their political disloyalty.

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In a lengthy front-page commentary on Monday, the party’s flagship mouthpiece People’s Daily argued for unconditional implementation of orders from the leadership, saying the party obeyed late ­chairman Mao Zedong in wartime despite relying on a telegraph system to communicate over vast distances.

“The ticking [of the telegraph] was the sound of Chairman Mao and the central leadership of the party. All members of the party and the army implemented Mao’s decisions unconditionally,” the commentary said, quoting an article from 1981. The unity of the party depended on such obedience, the absence of which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago, it said.

It said the Cultural Revolution, the decade-long social and political upheaval after Mao’s order to cleanse the party of “capitalist roaders”, was also a result of abnormal political life in the party.

But it also said more people were looking to the Communist Party’s achievements amid political polarisation overseas, such as the “farce-like” competition between the two parties in the US”.

The key to the party’s success was in its political life, it added.

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Analysts said the two regulations to be adopted – one spelling out guiding principles for political life within the party “under new circumstances”, and the other revising a trial regulation on party internal supervision – would give institutional support to the party’s call for strict governance.

“[The new political life guidelines] will strengthen loyalty ­towards the party’s leadership by updating political rules and discipline,” Li Tuo, from the Chinese Academy of Governance, said.

“Comprehensive” strict party governance is among the “Four Comprehensives” put forward by party general secretary Xi Jinping in 2014.

The other three “comprehensive” goals are to build a moderately prosperous society; deepen reform; and govern the nation by law.

Li also said the new rules on internal supervision were expected to be more detailed and therefore more applicable than the existing version from 2003.