- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to knuckle down in his years-old campaign against corruption Thursday, issuing his most blunt call to date for fierce loyalty and discipline from officials within the nation’s ruling Communist Party.

In a speech live-streamed to party officials across China, Mr. Xi said efforts against the “root causes” of graft “must be consolidated while those to cure the symptoms must be vigorously wielded,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency in Beijing.

“As soon as a ‘tiger’ rears his head, we will strike at once; as soon as a ‘fly’ flies in disorder, we will swat,” the Chinese president said, according to Reuters, which noted the reference to potential corruption by high- and low-level officials.

Since rising to the presidency in 2013, Mr. Xi is widely considered to have amassed more power than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong — the founding father of modern China, who died in 1976.

In October, Mr. Xi secured a second five-year term as head of the ruling Communist Party. While his anti-corruption campaign has been criticized as a tool for crushing political dissent, it has also been praised for taking down dozens of officials accused of accepting bribes and engaging in other forms of graft.

Reuters maintained that Mr. Xi’s latest call for unwavering discipline within the communist party was unusual in its bluntness.

“When the party center makes a policy decision, all party groups must put it into practice to the letter,” Mr. Xi said Thursday.

“At any time and in any situation, the party’s leading officials must stand firm and be trustworthy in their politics, be sincerely devoted to the party, be in one mind with the party centre,” he said, according to Reuters.

Efforts in party building are a “fundamental guarantee” of finally achieving the Chinese dream, Mr. Xi said, referring to his aspiration to secure China as a nation of global prominence and influence.

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