New CPC leadership rejects extravagance, bureaucracy

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The newly-elected leadership of China's ruling party has pledged to reject extravagance and reduce bureaucratic visits and meetings, in a bid to win the trust and support from the people.

In a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Tuesday, senior officials agreed that there should be "no welcome banner, no red carpet, no floral arrangement or grand receptions for officials' visits."

"The spending on officials' trips and inspections should be kept at the minimum necessary level," according to a statement issued after the meeting.

The meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was held less than three weeks after the 18th CPC national congress.

The CPC vowed at the keynote congress to "always work hard and practice economy." It also promised to reject the practices of extravagance, formalism and bureaucracy.

Tuesday's meeting adopted a document making explicit requirements on how Political Bureau members should improve their work style in eight aspects, according to the statement.

"There should be fewer traffic controls arranged for the leaders' security of their trips to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public, and inspection tours as a mere formality should be strictly prohibited," the statement said.

Political Bureau members are not allowed to attend all sorts of ribbon-cutting or cornerstone laying ceremonies, as well as celebrations and seminars, unless they get approval from the CPC Central Committee, according to the statement.

Officials' visits abroad should only be arranged when needed in terms of foreign affairs with fewer accompanying members, and on most of the occasions, there is no need for a reception by overseas Chinese people, institutions and students at the airport.

According to the statement, all members of the Political Bureau are urged to understand the real situation facing society through in-depth inspections at the grassroots.

Senior leaders should listen more to the public and officials at grassroots levels, and solve people's practical problems, the statement said.

It was also agreed at the meeting to strictly regulate the arrangements of national official meetings and major events, improve the efficiency of official conferences and issuing of official documents.

Official meetings should get shortened and be specific and to the point, with no empty and rigmarole talks.

The meeting underscores the exemplary role of officials, especially high-ranking officials, in improving the Party's work style.

"The Political Bureau members should implement the dos before asking others to do so," the statement said.

It also asked the senior officials to keep a frugal lifestyle and strictly comply to regulations on housing and vehicles.

The meeting demands Party organizations and officials at all levels to implement the eight requirements. Disciplinary and auditing authorities are ordered to play their role to ensure the implementation at various levels.

New style by new leadership

Prof. Xie Zhiqiang with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee believed that the new requirements are another move of a series of exemplary conducts taken by the CPC's new top leadership in improving the Party's work style.

"The eight requirements are feasible and targeted," Prof. Xie said. "They will help leaders turn rhetoric of improving work style into practice."

Xi Jinping said in his speech when meeting the press after being elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee that the new leadership had taken on an important responsibility for the people and the party had to solve problems such as "corruption, being divorced from the people, going through formalities and bureaucratism."

"We must make every effort to solve these problems. The whole Party must stay on full alert," Xi said.

Two members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee recently asked officials not to read their prepared reports at meetings to save time in order to speak about more concrete contents.

Taking the lead by their own examples from the top leadership will bring a nationwide influence with new changes and fashion in work style, said Xie.

Prof. Wang Yukai with Chinese Academy of Governance said the eight requirements are designed and aimed at dealing with complaints from the public for a long time.

"They showcased a strong determination of the top leadership to fight chronic and lingering problems within the Party," Prof. Wang said.

The Political Bureau's meeting on Tuesday is seen as a follow-up to the pledge to win public trust and support at the CPC's 18th national congress.

The CPC congress report said that the Party should "put people first, exercise governance for the people and always maintain close ties with them".

It also stressed that the Party "should make determined efforts to improve the style of writing and the conduct of meetings, and reject undesirable practices such as mediocrity, laziness, laxity and extravagance, the practice of just going through formalities, and bureaucratism.

"We should use the Party's fine conduct to enhance Party cohesiveness, win popular support and improve the conduct of the government and the general public," the report said.

Netizens hail, expect practice

Chinese netizens are also getting upbeat about the new requirements, believing them as a positive signal from the newly-elected CPC leadership to take the gloves off in the fight against bureaucracy.

A microblogging entry by the People's Daily on the requirements has been retweeted more than 5,700 times within three hours since its release.

"The required measures are exactly what I expect and appreciate, and my comment on them is only one word: good!" wrote Sina Weibo user "Antique1999090909".

"These requirements indicate that the CPC has made a choice between empty talks and down-to-earth works," wrote weibo user "aepmmi".

However, web users also expressed their hope that the new requirements be carried out.

The new requirements are good, and they can be better if fully implemented, said a netizen named "Chengdu lawyer Lei Fugen".

Ren Zhiqiang, a well-known outspoken real estate boss, commented at weibo that he believes more similar measures will follow, and the new leadership will not disappoint the people.

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