The Communist Party of China announced a new regulation that seeks to strengthen the guidance of its members in various state organs and non-Party units on Tuesday.
"Leading Party members' groups", organizations of high-profile party members who gather to help implement CPC policy, may be formed in state organs, organizations or other non-Party units, including ministries, state-owned enterprises and associations for writers and other professions. They work to ensure the Party line, theories and policies are properly implemented at their host organization.
Unlike elected Party committees, the composition of a leading Party members' group is decided by the Party organization that approves it.
The regulation is the first of its kind targeting these groups since their inception 70 years ago. China now has more than 86,000 such groups at all levels.
"History proves that the CPC enjoyed smooth progress whenever the role of leading Party members' groups was valued. On the other hand, difficulties emerged whenever their role was overlooked or weakened," Xie Chuntao with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee told Xinhua.
However, only three articles in the CPC constitution offer general stipulations on the groups prior to the new rules, with the absence of specific functions and operation standards.
The new regulation offers fresh guidelines for the establishment, function, principles and decision-making procedures of such a group, stressing supervision over operations and a system to pursue liabilities in case of errors.
With the power to make key decisions affecting their organizations' running and development, such groups are urged to keep key matters on record and submit them to higher authorities, with group secretaries responsible for delivering work reports for performance evaluations.
"In general, leading Party members' groups must first make proposals based on research and investigations, solicited opinions, evaluated risks and by reviewing its legitimacy before making a major decision," the regulation said.
The new regulation urges these groups to maintain strict management of Party members within their jurisdictions and cooperate with discipline inspectors to uncover misconduct.
"Group members that fail to do their duty and result in slack performances that bring severe consequences in related Party organizations will be pursued and punished," it said.
Meanwhile, group members themselves were told to obey political discipline and maintain an uncorrupt style, following the Party's principles to refrain from hedonism, empty words and ineffective work.
"The making and implementation of the regulation is of crucial importance to strengthen and improve the CPC's guidance and governing capacities, ensuring that the Party plays a better role in overseeing the general situation and coordinating all sides," said a CPC statement accompanying the regulation.
The regulation was approved late in May at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee presided over by President Xi Jinping. It took effect on June 11.