Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, January 24, electronic edition. Recently, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the State Council issued the Notice on Launching a Dedicated Struggle against Crime and Vice. The Notice points out that, in order to thoroughly implement the deployments of the 19th Party Congress and the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions, to ensure that the people live and work in peace and contently, the society is stable and orderly, and the country has long-term peace and stable, and to further consolidate the party’s ruling foundation, the Central Committee of the CCP and the State Council have decided to launch a dedicated struggle to eradicate crime and vice (扫黑除恶, has a connotation of organized crime) across the country.
The Notice emphasizes that the dedicated nationwide struggle against crime and vice is a major decision made by the Central Committee of the CCP with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. It concerns the overall stability of society and the long-term peace and stability of the country, it concerns the support or disapproval of the people and the consolidation of grassroots political authority, and it concerns the carrying out of great struggles, building of great projects, advancement of great causes, and realization of great dreams. All regions and departments must further improve their political positions, effectively enhance the “Four Consciousnesses”, fully understand the great significance of launching a dedicated struggle against crime and vice, effectively unify thoughts and actions on the deployments of the Party Central Committee, plan scientifically, carefully organize and conscientiously implement [the plans], and resolutely win the fight of the dedicated struggle against crime and vice.
The Notice clarifies the overall requirements, objectives, and tasks of this dedicated struggle against crime and vice. The Notice points out that it is necessary to fully implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as our guide, and firmly establish a people-centered development ideology. In response to the current new trends in issues involving crime and vice, we must effectively combine special governance with systematic governance, comprehensive governance, governance by law, and source governance, combine the fight against crime by underworld forces with high-level anti-corruption and “swatting flies” at the grassroots level, and combine the eradication of crime and vice with strengthening the construction of grassroots organizations. We must not only effectively crack down on the criminal activities of underworld forces and form an overwhelming situation, but also effectively eliminates the breeding grounds of underworld forces and form a long-term mechanism. We must continuously enhance people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security, maintain social harmony and stability and consolidate the party’s ruling foundation. This is done to create a safe and stable social environment for the decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, the great victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Notice points out that we must adhere to the party’s leadership and give full play to political advantages; adhere to the dominant position of the people and rely closely on the masses; adhere to comprehensive governance and practice joint management; adhere to strict punishment in accordance with the law and strike early before problems grow; and adhere to addressing both symptoms and root causes and implementing governance at the source.
The Notice emphasizes that we must focus on key regions, key industries, and key fields where problems involving crime and vice are prominent and always aim the crackdown on the worst and most abhorrent criminal activities of underworld forces as reported by the masses. We must adhere to strict punishment in accordance with the law, striking early before problems grow, and doing everything possible to eliminate vice. We must constantly maintain a high-pressure situation of a severe crackdown on crimes by all kinds of underworld forces. Political and legal institutions must further clarify the boundaries of policies and laws, unify law enforcement thinking, and strengthen coordination and cooperation. They must not only persist in cracking down on crimes by all kinds of underworld forces, but also insist on handling cases strictly in accordance with the law. They must ensure the uniformity of case handling quality and efficiency and ensure the uniformity of political, legal, and social effects. We must rigorously implement criminal policies that incorporate both leniency and strictness. The organizers, leaders, and backbone members of criminal organizations as well as their “protective umbrellas” must be severely punished in accordance with the law, while other participants involved in minor crimes must be given lighter and reduced punishments in accordance with the law. Measures such as search and seizure, detention, and freezing must be taken in a timely manner in accordance with the law and multiple methods such as recovery, confiscation, sentences involving property penalties, and administrative fines must be used comprehensively to eradicate the economic foundation of the underworld forces. We must actively adapt to the reform of the criminal procedure system centered on trials, effectively take care of matters related to the facts, evidence, procedures, and application of the law in cases, strictly forbid torture to extract confessions, prevent unjust, false, and erroneous cases, and ensure that every case is an iron case (铁案, a slam dunk).
The Notice requires that, under the leadership of party committees at all levels, we give full play to the advantages in public security and comprehensive governance, promote the performance of duties by all departments and the practice of joint management, and comprehensively use various means to prevent and solve prominent problems involving crimes by underworld forces. All relevant departments must integrate their own functions and take the initiative to undertake their duties and tasks in the dedicated struggle against crime and vice. They must perform administrative work and their duties according to law, strengthen the supervision of key industries and key fields, prevent administrative inaction and chaotic action, and squeeze the breeding ground of underworld forces to the maximum extent. All relevant departments shall promptly notify public security agencies of clues related to crime and vice discovered in daily law enforcement inspections and establish and improve mechanisms for the transfer of clues. Political and legal institutions shall promptly notify relevant departments of industry management loopholes discovered in handling cases and propose suggestions for strengthening supervision and administrative law enforcement.
The Notice points out that the fight against crime and vice is combined with the struggle against high-level corruption and “swatting flies” at the grassroots level to dig deep into the “protective umbrella” of the underworld forces. Disciplinary inspection and supervision institutions should treat crime and vice issues involving party members and cadres as a key point in rectifying corruption around the masses and include them in discipline supervision and inspection work. Discipline inspection and supervision institutions and political and legal institutions shall establish rapid transfer and feedback mechanisms for problems and clues, promptly dig into the corruption behind each criminal case involving crime and vice, and avoid handling cases on the basis of only the superficial facts (就案办案, 就事论事). Disciplinary inspection and supervision institutions at all levels shall take crime and vice issues involving party members and cadres as the focus of disciplinary review, give priority to the clues of “protective umbrella” issues discovered in the dedicated fight against crime and vice, discover, investigate, and handle issues together, and investigate matters to the end and never tolerate wrongdoing no matter who is involved. We must intensify supervision, combine the fight against the “protective umbrella” with the investigation and handling of crime and vice cases, achieve synchronous investigation and handling, and in particular, seize upon long-term and deeply intertwined cases involving crime and vice and corruption and focus on handling such cases involving key areas in poverty alleviation.
The Notice requires that Party committees and governments at all levels must make the dedicated struggle against crime and vice a major political task, give it a prominent position in their overall work, and include it on their agendas of important matters. The comrades with primary responsibility in party committees and governments at all levels must have the courage to take on their responsibilities, dare to face hard situations, prominently support the work of eradicating crime and vice, and remove hurdles and provide strong assurances so that political and legal institutions can handle cases in accordance with the law and relevant departments can perform their duties in accordance with the law and thoroughly investigate the “protective umbrella.” We must adopt a resolute attitude on issues involving crime and vice, and especially major and important cases that the masses have strongly expressed their opinion on. No matter who is involved, it must be investigated to the end, and especially the “protective umbrella” behind it. We must resolutely investigate and deal with cases in accordance with the law and without ambiguity.
The Notice points out that it is necessary to strictly implement the leadership responsibility system for public security and comprehensive governance. For regions, industries, and fields with prominent issues involving crime and vice, we must urge [the relevant leaders] to make rectifications within a time limit through notifications, interviews, and list-based supervision. If the problem is serious and has a very bad impact, discipline inspection and supervision institutions and organization and personnel departments shall strictly hold the primary persons responsible and other related responsible persons accountable in accordance with the law and disciplinary codes and never show toleration. Industry supervision responsibilities must be strictly implemented. If routine supervision is not in place, leading to the multiplication and spread of underworld forces, it is necessary to implement reverse inspection to find the responsible parties and enforce strict accountability.