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Attack On Degenerates, Liberty-Seekers Marks Ideological Push

July 16, 1985

PEKING (AP) _ The Communist Party has said it will purge degenerates, embezzlers and freedom-seekers from its ranks and citizens must strictly follow communist discipline and ideals to bring modernization.

A speech by Hu Qili, member of the party Secretariat, underlined the party’s new emphasis on Communist ideology at a time when China’s open-door economic reforms are under review.

″A handful of party members have gone so far as to preach Western ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ and advocate bourgeois liberalization,″ Hu said. ″They have lost their socialist and communist faith and ideals.″

Prominently reported Monday by the People’s Daily and other official media, Hu’s talk to party bosses from six provinces slammed those who have exploited initiative-rewarding reforms to line their own pockets.

″They have become corrupt and degenerate and have long since forfeited even the minimal quality of a Communist Party member,″ said Hu, the man tipped as next party general secretary.

He called on provincial leaders to ferret out and expel all those engaged in embezzlement, speculation, profiteering, theft and smuggling, and to make examples of the worst offenders from county level up.

The People’s Daily, in an accompanying article, highlighted the case of Xiang Dongsheng, an agriculture and reclamation official in Yunnan province who has been expelled from the party for buying pornographic videotapes with state funds.

The paper cited Xiang as a ″money-seeker″ bringing in the worst of Western culture under the cover of reform and said: ″Every party member must be clear that we are building socialism and our ultimate goal is communism.″

Hu Qili, who spoke Saturday at a week-long meeting convened by the Party Consolidation Guidance Committee, said a three-year party purge had been ″uneven.″

″Achievements by the majority of units haven’t been obvious,″ he said.

It was the most damaging admission since Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping launched the rectification in October 1983 to clean out leftist opponents and factionalists who rose to power during Mao Tse-tung’s 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

The first stage involved members of the central and provincial party apparatus, and year two has covered 13.5 million county and prefecture members. The grass roots of the 41-million member party comes under scrutiny in the final year.

Hu Yaobang, the party general secretary, said May 10 that he expected 40,000 members - 1 in every 1,000 - to be purged.

Hu Qili, his protege, made clear that the emphasis has shifted from leftists to the corrupt and ideologically lax and said party consolidation and reform are inseparable. ″This is a fundamental guiding principle which cannot be doubted.″

After the government uncovered illicit trading, unwarranted salary hikes and unchecked bank lending last winter, Peking reimposed central controls and the party began verbal attacks on ″unhealthy tendencies.″

The media has shelved last year’s praise for ″rich peasants″ in favor of ″model communists″ sacrificing themselves for the majority.

Deng Xiaoping, under pressure from doctrinaire party veterans, said Monday his open-door reforms would encounter twists and turns and even mistakes, but would succeed in the end.

He has stressed that China’s economy will remain socialist and he is not introducing capitalism.

One twist disclosed Monday by State Councillor Gu Mu, responsible for open- door strategy, was that 10 of 14 coastal cities opened to foreign investment last year will ″temporarily″ curtail signing new contracts.

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