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It’s the turn of the Communist Party’s top propaganda departments to come under the scrutiny of the party’s internal disciplinary inspection process.

The anti-graft agency announced the target of its latest

review yesterday, just days after President Xi Jinping’s rare high-profile tour of top party mouthpieces where he delivered a keynote directive on state media’s propaganda work.

The Central Publicity Department, and the government censor – the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television – along with 30 other ministries and government agencies will be reviewed during the year’s first round of inspection tours, according to the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection.

Since the revolutionary days, the party has stressed that “the gun barrels and the pen holders” were the two most important elements to staying in power. Xi kicked off a massive campaign to overhaul the People’s Liberation Army last autumn.

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Propaganda work is under the portfolio of ideological tsar Liu Yunshan, the fifth ranking Politburo Standing Committee leader. The propaganda department, an organ of the party instead of the government, ranks higher than any ministry in the State Council.

Inspection tours have been labelled a key weapon in the party’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign. However, tours in the past year have focused on political loyalty. The ideology and cultural departments will be reviewed on whether they are in line with Xi’s two landmark speeches on ideology and propaganda, said anti-graft chief Wang Qishan yesterday in a meeting kicking off the new round of inspection exercise.

One speech, delivered two years ago, was devoted to literature and art. He urged artists to create works that were not just artistically outstanding but also politically inspiring. It was described by many, including state media, as an imitation of Mao’s Zedong’s speech in 1942.

The second speech came on Friday, after Xi finished his tour of the three main mouthpieces. They were told to remain aligned with the party’s central leadership.

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Apart from the propaganda system, other departments would also be inspected for their implementation of policies made by the central leadership, CCDI said.

“All problems found by the inspecting tours since the 18th Party Congress all stemmed from faith that was not firm enough, or indecisive implementation of policies by the central leadership,” Wang was quoted as saying in the CCDI’s statement.

Economic regulators will be examined for adhering to the mindset of the central leadership on macro and micro economics; the civil affairs departments will be reviewed on its implementation of policies to fight poverty.

The implementation of central policies was also stressed in a separate meeting chaired by Xi yesterday. Those who did not attach enough importance to policies from the central leadership, and those who implemented the policies incompletely should be held responsible, Xinhua reported, quoting the meeting of the leading group on comprehensive reforms.

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