The Chinese Communist Party has written a code of ethics to ban immoral behavior and eliminate political factions that stray from the central government’s positions, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The code lists 8 moral and ethical principles that the party’s more than 60 million members are expected to follow.
It bans “forming party cliques,” and “using political power to seek profits for family members and staff.”
It also lists extravagant eating and drinking, playing golf, and having “immoral sexual relations” with anyone as immoral behaviors.
Recently, officials have sparked public anger for driving flashy cars, wearing designer brands, and having mistresses to “cultivate their characters.”
According to the code, “Party members must separate public and private interests, put the public’s interest first, and work selflessly.”
For many, this code signals a crumbling divide within the Communist Party.
“It tells us that there are a lot of people who are currently contravening party principles,” said political activist Zha Jianguo. “For these rules to come out is proof positive that the party is in crisis. In the past, such rules were unwritten; they never had to be spelled out clearly on paper for all to see.
“There are so many people straying from the path that they felt they had to write up a disciplinary code.”
Retired Shandong University professor Sun Wenguang believes the code’s emphasis on faction formation highlights the tension within the party under President Xi Jinping, who has led an anti-corruption campaign since taking office.
Critics call Xi’s top-to-bottom offense as being “highly selective” in targeting officials outside his faction.
“The Communist Party is extremely worried about the rise of the reform faction within the party, or perhaps the enlightenment faction, either of which might unseat their mainstream faction [headed by Xi],” Sun said..
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