'Sorcerers' in sights of powerful party leader

Top News | Nov 17, 2017
Some top mainland officials are guilty of practicing sorcery and would rather believe in gurus and Western concepts than the Communist Party, claims a powerful member of Beijing's ruling team.

Chen Xi, the recently appointed head of the CPC Organization Department that oversees personnel decisions, also wrote in yesterday's People's Daily that such people threaten the party's survival.

"Some don't believe in Marx and Lenin but believe in ghosts and gods," he said. "They don't believe in ideals but believe in sorcery. They don't respect the people but do respect masters" - a reference to spiritual leaders or gurus.

Chen said too that some people in leadership positions had "fallen morally."

China guarantees freedom of religion for major belief systems such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, but party members are meant to be atheists and to shun superstitious practices.

Chinese have a long tradition of turning to soothsaying and geomancy to find answers to problems in times of need, but such ideas have grown more risky amid President Xi Jinping's war on graft.

Attacking officials whose faith in communism is wavering, Chen also said some consider it an "entirely unreal mirage" and have lost faith in socialism.

They look to Western concepts like the separation of powers and multi-party systems as ideals, added Chen, who also runs the Central Party School that trains officials. He did not accuse anyone by name of superstitious practices or fawning over the West.

But he did point to some of those caught up in high-profile recent cases - such as former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang and the ex-boss of Chongqing Sun Zhengcai - as "political careerist plotters."


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