BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a strong warning against corruption on Saturday while meeting parliament delegates from scandal-plagued Chongqing city, saying officials should not let “pillow talk” within families help to foster graft.
The southwestern metropolis is one of China’s most important cities, but it has been at the heart of two dramatic corruption scandals in recent years.
Its charismatic former Communist Party chief Bo Xilai, once seen as a contender for the top leadership, was jailed for life in 2013 for bribery, corruption and abuse of power, in a case kicked off by his wife’s murder of a British businessman.
Last month Chinese prosecutors charged another party boss in the city, Sun Zhengcai, with bribery. Sun had also once been considered a contender for a national leadership position.
Xi, who has overseen a sweeping war on corruption since coming to power in late 2012, has parachuted in one of his close allies, Chen Miner, to take over Chongqing.
Speaking to Chongqing legislators on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament, Xi said that “political ecology” was like nature itself.
“If you take your eye off it for a moment then it’s easy to become polluted,” state media cited Xi as saying.
Officials have to set a good example and be moral and law-abiding citizens, he added.
A top priority is to ensure family members are not corrupt, Xi said.
“Prevent pillow talk from becoming a fuse for corruption, prevent your children from raising their own banners to illegally seek profit, prevent those around you from dragging you down.”
Speaking earlier in the week, Chongqing’s current party chief Chen warned that the “evil legacy” of Bo had yet to be rooted out.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Gareth Jones)