China's "new broom", Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, is personally driving an initiative to sweep away swelling public criticism of corruption, a soaring wealth gap and an aristocratic attitude among officials.
His answer to such destabilising concerns: a "mass line" campaign, originally launched in June and now intensified with a round of public self-criticisms.
Mao Zedong had a slogan: "From the masses, to the masses". Thus a "mass line" around the correct thought and lifestyle of the masses. Xi is taking this campaign on the road around China. "The mass line campaign should not tail off once it gets started," he insists.
This week he has appeared on television, conducting such sessions for provincial cadres, starting in Hebei, which surrounds Beijing.
An official photo shows him in open-necked shirt, arms folded, leaning watchfully on a desk at which members of the Hebei party standing committee are writing self-criticisms.
The broader implication is clear: this is what the new leadership perceives as political reform. It does not involve increased accountability or democracy but a sharpened and cleaner team at the top, more responsive to direction.
Xi is the most palpably political leader to have emerged in China since Deng Xiaoping, in subtle contrast to the technocratic, bureaucratic style that has prevailed previously.
It is no coincidence that he has launched this drive just days after the sentencing of bitter rival Bo Xilai to life in prison, on corruption charges that Bo fiercely fought.
Bo won huge public popularity in the vast municipality of Chongqing, where he was party secretary, for his nostalgic return to the apparently simpler verities of the Mao era. His slogan: Chang hong da hei - Sing red songs, strike black crime.
Now, with Bo behind bars, Xi is free to take up elements of that Maoist heritage. He has already stated that he wishes, during his 10 years in office, to build pride in the entire period of Communist Party rule, including the three decades under Mao.
No one is exempt from the new campaign. Even foreign corporations have been enlisted.
In July, Xu Xinyu, a divisional head at the powerful central planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, demonstrated his zeal to the new leadership team by demanding that 30 international companies, including General Electric and Siemens, undertake "self-criticism" over unfairly dominating market segments within China. Helpfully, revealed Reuters, he showed the firms' in-house lawyers how to write such self-criticisms and showed them copies of letters other businesses had sent to the commission to confess their guilt over previous cases.
In August, the commission announced $120 million fines against foreign milk-powder firms for collusion - while explaining three further companies were excused such penalties because they carried out "self-rectification".
A commentary carried by press agency Xinhua said: "Probing and punishing ill-behaved companies will increase the confidence of international firms in the Chinese market, not the other way round."