The Communist Party of China (CPC) has vowed to speed up the building of a country under the rule of law, as Hu Jintao has warned that corruption could trigger the collapse of the Party and the fall of the state. Multiple high-ranking Chinese officials who previously abused their power have taken a fall in recent years, including former Party chief of the city of Chongqing Bo Xilai, former Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun and Xu Zongheng, former mayor of the city of Shenzhen. The officials were accused of taking advantage of their positions to seek profits for themselves or for others, receiving huge bribes personally or through their families. \"The exercise of power must be placed under oversight and restriction. Corruption in this regard is most serious,\" said Tan Jialing, a delegate to the ongoing 18th CPC National Congress. A lack of supervision, especially legal supervision, will bring harm not only to society, but also to the ruling party itself, said Tan, Party chief of the Nanchuan district of Chongqing. While delivering a report to the Party congress on Thursday, Hu responded to public concerns by pledging that combating corruption and promoting political integrity will be a clear-cut and long-term political commitment for the Party. \"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the Party, and even cause the collapse of the Party and the fall of the state,\" Hu warned. He ordered leading officials at all levels, especially high-ranking officials, to readily observe the code of conduct on clean governance. \"They should both exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen education and supervision over their family and staff, and they should never seek any privilege,\" he said. Hu also pledged to tighten intra-Party democratic and legal oversight, as well as oversight through public opinion, to ensure that the people oversee the exercise of power and that power is exercised in a transparent manner. \"All those who violate Party discipline and state laws, whoever they are and whatever power or official positions they have, must be brought to justice without mercy,\" Hu warned. More than 668,000 Party members and government officials have been punished for violating the rules over the past five years, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision announced in a statement last month. The country\'s disciplinary authorities investigated 643,000 cases and completed 639,000 of them between November 2007 and June 2012, the statement said. In those cases, 24,584 people were transferred to judicial organs over suspicion of committing crimes, it said.