Skeptics Deride China’s Catch-All Accountability Regulations

Skeptics Deride China’s Catch-All Accountability Regulations
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

What you need to know

The Chinese Communist Party's new accountability rules could drive an uptick in the investigation of neglect and corruption among party officials.

After the “Accountability Regulation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)” took effect on July 8, covering the party’s 88 million members, some people in China are calling for more independent oversight.

Since President Xi Jinping (習近平) took office in 2012, China has orchestrated a major crackdown on corruption. Some commentators have interpreted the anti-graft campaign as Xi’s way of purging other powerful people in China’s leadership. Xi is also party secretary general.

Statistics show that, as of the end of May, more than 45,000 party members have been “held accountable” since the 18th National Congress of the CCP in 2012, state-owned Xinhua says.

Xinhua notes that the former accountability mechanism was “not perfect” and local party experts say the system’s effectiveness has been restricted because the rules have been difficult to implement.

“There are 119 documents involving accountability measures among over 500 Party regulations, which mostly focus on accidents and incidents, with few concentrating on poor management,” Xinhua says.

The new regulations, Xinhua says, introduces an internal accountability mechanism and covers all levels and divisions.

“It targets leaders of Party committees and discipline inspection committees at various levels, and holds them responsible for serious consequences caused by negligence or poor performance.”

According to the new rules, officials and organizations are accountable for failing to implement Party guidelines and policies and discipline subordinates, Xinhua says.

“If corruption is discovered in an official's department, the official will be held responsible, regardless of his or her personal involvement or knowledge,” the agency says.

Netizens in China replied to a post by China National Radio on Weibo discussing the matter.

One netizen said he doubted whether the system can be effective, particularly if it remains supervised by party members instead of an independent body.

Another said the regulation is only “tricking" citizens if the supervision procedures are carried out inside the CCP.

A netizen said it was wrong for the Chinese government to modify party regulations while not touching the nation’s law, as China refers itself to a “society ruled by law.”

One netizen replied to another post on Weibo, saying that if junior officers are not supervised by citizens, the regulation will be worthless.

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole