‘I Don’t Know Where Some Cadres Get Their Magical Powers’ And Other Quotations from Xi Jinping’s New Book on Corruption

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459270358_0THE EDITORS 01.28.15

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Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Earlier this month, at the close of the Chinese Communist Party’s 5th Plenum, the official People’s Daily noted on its website that as this important agenda-setting meeting came to a close it was worth paying attention to the recent publication of a book entitled Extracts of Xi Jinping’s Discussions of Party Working Style, Clean Government, and the Struggle Against Corruption. According to the People’s Daily, the 148-page digest gathers Xi’s statements from both public and “internal” meetings since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, making public for the first time some of Xi’s most direct pronouncements on his anti-corruption campaign and revealing the extent to which he uses “colloquial and ruthless language” to upbraid wayward comrades. The People’s Daily compiled dozens of these pronouncements and we have translated the handful we found most illuminating. —The Editors

“A man who is good at ruling the people through prohibitions must first apply these prohibitions to himself and only then can he rule others.”* Cadres at all levels must set an example, take the lead in being exemplars, when they say they will do something, do it, when they make a promise, honor it. This is what the entire Politburo will do, starting with me. (January 22, 2013)
*Xi was quoting Xun Yue, a writer and statesman during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.).

If you yourself are not restrained, not tidy, not clean, if you give people cause to point fingers behind your back, then how can you make demands of others? There’s nothing you can say, and even if you could it would be useless. (July 8, 2013)

No matter how high your rank, whoever breaks the law will have to take responsibility and be dealt with accordingly. I don’t think that will cause the sky to fall. (September 26, 2013)

If a local corruption problem is serious and the people responsible feign ignorance and act like they’re good people, they aren’t the kind of “good people” the Party and the people need. If you’re a good person in the context of a corrupt situation, you can’t simultaneously be a good person in the eyes of the Party or of the people. (June 26, 2014)

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