If we fail to handle this issue (corruption) well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state, Hu warned in an opening speech.
Reform of the political structure is an important part of China's overall reform. We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice.
But nobody expects a move towards full democracy and party spokesman Cai Mingzhao made clear on Wednesday that one-party rule was inviolate.
The party has expelled senior regional leader Bo Xilai and accused him of abusing his office, taking huge bribes and other crimes in a dramatic fall from power that has shaken the leadership transition.