Municipal Party congress discusses future of Chongqing after Bo Xilai’s removal

The 4th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Chongqing Municipal Committee convened in this expansive metropolitan area Monday to outline the city’s blueprint for the next five years after the removal of former Party secretary Bo Xilai.

During the five-day meeting, more than 700 delegates will hear and deliberate a report given by Party secretary Zhang Dejiang, elect a new CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee and elect delegates to attend the 18th CPC National Congress slated to meet later this year.

“We will endeavor to deepen reform and opening-up and comprehensively push for economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction, ecological civilization construction and Party construction,” Zhang told the congress.

“We will strive to take the lead in the country’s western regions to achieve the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way in 2017,” he said.

The CPC Central Committee has set a goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way by 2020.

Monday marks the 15th anniversary of Chongqing’s founding as a municipality directly under the central government, the fourth established after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Larger than Taiwan in size, Chongqing has a population of 33 million who are mostly farmers living outside the main urban areas. It is located in the country’s relatively-backward southwestern regions.

“The past 15 years was a period when Chongqing’s overall strength achieved the fastest growth, its urban and rural areas experienced the biggest changes, and its people received the most benefits in its history,” Zhang said.

“Meanwhile we must note that the Wang Lijun incident, the death of Neil Heywood and the serious disciplinary violations of comrade Bo Xilai have greatly tarnished the image of the Party and the nation and have had a grave impact on Chongqing’s reform and development,” he said.

Zhang replaced Bo to become the city’s top official in March after the former Party secretary was suspected of being involved in serious disciplinary violations. Bo’s membership in the CPC’s Central Committee and its Political Bureau has been suspended. The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has filed his case for investigation.

Bo’s wife, Bo-Gu Kailai, and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at their home, have been transferred to the judicial authorities on suspicion of murdering British citizen Neil Heywood in Chongqing in November 2011.

The alleged murder of Neil Heywood was exposed in February after Chongqing’s former vice mayor and police chief Wang Lijun entered, without authorization, the U.S. general consulate in Chengdu, a neighboring city of Chongqing. The incident prompted an investigation ordered by the central authorities.

“We must strictly separate Chongqing’s achievements over the past five years and the painstaking efforts of local officials and residents from the three cases. On the other hand, we must sincerely draw lessons from those cases and earnestly improve our work,” Zhang told the delegates.

“We are resolved to build a more beautiful Chongqing under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, with Hu Jintao as the general secretary,” he said.

Xinhua