Hu identifies China’s class enemy: graft

FP

Stamp out corruption or else the party will perish and its iron-clad rule over China will collapse, Chinese president Hu Jintao Thursday told the country's new leadership which is set to take over the reins of the Communist party and the government from him. Delivering the unequivocal warning, Hu partly accepted the blame that corruption had grown manifold during his 10-year rule.

Addressing more than 2,200 delegates at the majestic Great Hall of the People at the opening of the 18th national congress of the Communist Party of China, Hu stressed that economic reform and opening up should be the new leadership's single-minded goal.

For the developing world, Hu — who is set to step down as general secretary of the party now and president of the world's second largest economy later — had a rhetorical "we-will-remain-a-reliable-friend-and-sincere- partner" message.

If New Delhi was keenly following the transition in Beijing, Hu did not go beyond the standard line that "we will continue to promote friendship and partnership with our neighbours, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with them".

But he reiterated his "people first" doctrine as he underlined that unremitting efforts should he made to combat corruption — an issue which has overshadowed the conclave after the embarrassing corruption scandal involving one-time high-profile politician Bo Xilai became public.

The party has purged him after accusing him of taking bribes and abusing his power. Besides, The New York Times had also reported late last month that the family of Premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated massive hidden wealth.

"Combating corruption and promoting political integrity, which is a major political issue of great concern to the people, is a clear-cut and long-term political commitment of the party," Hu said.

"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state," he said in his 90-minute address, leaving the challenge of tackling corruption to his successor Xi Jingping.

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