A top magazine of China's ruling Communist Party lashed out at critics of its ongoing anti-corruption campaign, saying foreign media and individuals from home and abroad were intentionally trying to discredit the effort as a political "power struggle".
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pursued a sweeping campaign to root out corruption since assuming power about three years ago, and has promised to strike hard at both senior and low-level officials, the "tigers" and "flies".
Nonetheless, there has been persistent speculation that the graft crackdown is also about Xi taking down his rivals. "Some foreign media and individuals take their own countries' anti-corruption efforts as a just display of rule of law, but see our anti-corruption work as a 'power struggle' that entails shadowy business," the influential bimonthly journal Qiushi said.
Domestically, there are also some people who "parrot" these words, an article in the magazine's latest issue released this week said. "This kind of viewpoint is perhaps due to a misunderstanding of our anti-corruption efforts, but even more it's a kind of deliberate discrediting and distortion," it said.
Xi has warned the problem of corruption could threaten the party's ability to retain power.
He has publicly rebuked criticism of the crackdown on graft, including during a state visit to the United States last year, where he told business leaders in Seattle that it was not a"House of Cards"-style power struggle, a reference to the US remake of the British political drama that is popular in China.
Several top officials have been felled in the campaign, including disgraced retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, the most senior leader to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the party swept to power in 1949.
The article said some unnamed people would suggest that the crackdown was "selective" because no "tigers" have been brought down in Beijing or Shanghai or certain provinces. "From Communist Party institutions to the highest levels of the military, from central ministries to the provinces and cities, there are no gaps in the anti-corruption," it said.