First mooted in December 2012, the eight-point regulation was enacted to promote humility and discipline in the Party. Its content ranges from sweeping decrees (a mandate to ‘maintain close contact with the grassroots’) to granular advice (reduce the number of traffic controls during leaders’ inspection tours).

The regulation envisions exemplary officials as humble, efficient and frugal cadres devoted to serving the people. It plays a crucial role in the war on corruption, and led to the downfall of over 140,000 officials in Xi’s first term. The concept was reiterated by Xi after the 19th Party Congress, as anti-corruption work expanded from Party members to all public-sector employees. New anti-corruption and disciplinary watchdog National Supervision Commission will see to its implementation.