Chinese President Xi Jinping has once again taken recourse to Mao Zedong’s thought as the common denominator to unite the Communist Party of China (CPC) after targeting its specific factions under an unrelenting anti-corruption campaign.
On Friday, the state owned People’s Publishing House (PPH) published an off-print of Mao’s report on party work-style, following Mr. Xi’s call on CPC members and cadres to study the pioneering work, Xinhua reported.
The Work Method of Party Committees , now available from Xinhua Bookstores, is an excerpt from Mao's report on the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee in March 1949, just before the Party took over state power.
“It included instructions on how to deal with work affairs, how to work with fellow comrades, the art of leadership, and others,” Xinhua paraphrased the report as saying. The organisational department of the CPC Central Committee on Thursday urged Party committees at all levels to fully understand the essence of comments by Mr. Xi, who is also the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC). It called upon them to strive for excellence in their work-style and the art of leadership, as well master the political conduct and rules outlined in Mao's article.
Chinese state media had earlier reported that Mr. Xi’s anti-corruption drive has already “eradicated” three major cliques in the CPC-the Petroleum Gang, led by former security chief Zhou Yongkang, the Secretaries Gang, comprising secretaries of the high-ranking officials, and a clique in the coal-rich Shanxi province, led by Ling Jihua. Mr. Ling was a top adviser of former President Hu Jintao.
But faced with the dissonance caused by the removal of heavyweight factions, Chinese authorities appear to have accelerated their effort to re-instill strict discipline within the party, citing Mr. Xi’s leadership at the “core”. Some analysts say Mr. Xi’s assertion to steer the CPC is a throwback to the Rectification Movement of 1942, which eventually led to the consolidation of Mao’s unrivalled leadership within the party.
Xinhua had earlier reported that Mao’s 120th birth anniversary, in late December, was marked with considerable fanfare, signaling the leadership’s decision to dig into its Maoist roots. Mr. Xi along with six other members of China's top decision making body — the standing committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee — visited Mao's mausoleum in Beijing. Celebrations were also held in Mao’s hometown of Shaoshan in the central Province of Hunan, as well as in the Jinggang Mountains, widely regarded as the birthplace of the Chinese revolution.