Beijing: China’s ruling Communist Party has barred retired cadres from making negative political speeches ahead of its key Congress that will make a once-in-a-decade leadership reshuffle later this year and is expected to endorse an unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping.
Xi, 68, is widely expected to get the endorsement for a rare third term at the CPC Congress, which is expected to be held in the next few months. Ahead of that, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee issued a set of regulations titled “Strengthening Party Building among Retired Cadres in the New Era”, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The guidelines stressed that retired officials are valuable assets of the party and political guidance and the supervision of the officials’ conduct should also be enhanced. The statement called on all party departments to ensure that retired cadres and party members listen to the party and follow the party and warned that violations of disciplinary rules should be dealt with seriously .
A spokesperson for the Central Organisation Department told Xinhua that the new rules are a response to some party members committing disciplinary offences after retirement.
The statement asks them not to discuss the general policies of the party’s Central Committee in an open manner, not to spread political negative remarks, not to participate in the activities of illegal social organisations, and not to use their former authority or position influence to seek benefits for themselves and others, and resolutely oppose and resist all kinds of wrong thinking,” Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is gearing up for the party Congress, a twice-a-decade event, that is expected to endorse an unprecedented third term for Xi, making him the first person to do so after the death of its founder leader Mao Zedong in 1976.
Xi has gained traction with the Chinese masses after he took over the leadership of the party in 2012 besides the Presidency and the head of the military with his massive anti-corruption campaign in which over a million officials were punished.
Critics say he also made a good use of it to consolidate his power in the party and the military, enhancing his stature as a core leader , the title bestowed on Mao who wielded power till his death.
The guidelines of party gagging the retired party officials amid growing criticism of Xi’s rigid zero-COVID policy leading to lockdowns of several top cities, locking millions of people indoors to curb the virus has evoked public criticism denting his popularity.