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Promote Institutional Anti-corruption, Cleanse the Political Ecology.

Author:李永忠 Source:深圳创新发展研究院 Date:2016-09-05

On July 30, Mr. Yongzhong Li, former Deputy Director of the Chinese Academy of Discipline Inspection and Supervision, visited Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institute (SZIDI) and delivered a speech titled “Promote Institutional Anti-Corruption, Cleanse the Political Ecology” at the institute’s 14th Public Lecture Series. He pointed out that, given the present stage of the anti-corruption campaign, there is an urgent need to set up an institutional anticorruption reform pilot to construct and improve the power structure, and ultimately to facilitate a better political ecology.

Li described institutional anti-corruption and the efforts to clean up the political ecology as “a war with no rifles”. He pointed out that this “war” requires a landing point, and that it is important to set a pilot scheme for institutional reform as soon as possible. Building upon this, Li argued for the significance, necessity and urgency of a pilot scheme in anti-corruption from three points of view – strategic planning, battle objectives, and battle tactics.

Li believed that rolling out the Four Comprehensives – a strategy developed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party after it reflected on its governance experiences over the years – requires an anti-corruption campaign. To realize the Four Comprehensives, China must establish a pilot scheme for institutional reform, in order to fully realize its essential role in demonstration, breakthrough, and mobilizing. He pointed out that institutional reform would reduce to empty words of theorization without a pilot scheme.

Li believed that the pilot scheme is also a prerequisite to a well-structured authority that consists of a scientific power structure. He pointed out that the root cause of the Soviet Union’s downfall was the over-centralization of power, which is detrimental to the system. Only with a pilot scheme of institutional reform, followed by trial and errors and the founding of an authority structure that consists of a scientific power structure, can we outperform the Soviet model.

In the end, Li emphasized that the pilot scheme should be implemented immediately, so that it buys China time as it attempts to deal with the root cause. Li believed that political reform should begin with authority structure and personnel management. He drew an analogy between authority structure and carbon: both graphite and diamond are carbon-based structures, but they have vastly different level of hardness as they differ in molecular geometry. The same applies to authority structure. Li said, rooting out corrupted individuals can remain to be top priority today – even in a high-handed manner to buy time, but only as China gets to the root cause can it turn the table around. The institutional anti-corruption efforts must begin with a pilot scheme, as China boldly explores its feasibility and walks her own path.