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Officials lack honesty: Survey
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Many people are dissatisfied with the performance of local officials in matters relating to honesty and discipline, an online survey conducted by a leading Communist Party newspaper has said.

About 76 percent of 18,866 people surveyed, expressed concern about the integrity of county-level Party chiefs.

Results of the survey were published in People's Daily yesterday.

On what makes for a good Party chief, 85.5 percent of 26,425 respondents said he or she should be self-disciplined, and free from corruption.

The survey was done following a training program for county-level Party officials from Nov 10 to 26, held at the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

The People's Daily said Party officials attending the training program agreed that discipline was a key issue and supervision over the use of power was also very important.

"It is true that misuse of power by a Party head of a county could have a negative impact on local officials, and economic and social development," Tan Wenjiao, secretary of the CPC Enshi City Committee, central Hubei province, said.

Che Guozhen, secretary of the CPC Xixiang County Committee, Shaanxi province, said: "As the top official of a county, self-discipline only is not enough. It is very important that we should also consciously carry out effective supervision.

"We county Party secretaries should also be clear-minded about the importance of the rule of law."

In October, the CPC Central Committee decided to enroll all the country's 2,000 county-level Party secretaries for regular training. The training was held at seven centers, including the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The program has been widely interpreted as a move by the Party to improve the performance of local officials amid the rise of more social problems.

For the first time, the local Party chiefs were taught how to deal with mass incidents, such as protests and strikes, during their week-long training.

In several regions of the country, protests have broken out this year.

One involved 30,000 people in Weng'an county, Guizhou province in late June. It was sparked by a controversial police report on the death of a teenage girl.

The authorities later admitted that it was related to public grievances, long neglected by the local government, on issues such as mining and relocation programs.

"County officials should get used to being supervised," Wang Haitao, secretary of the CPC committee of Shennongjia, Hubei province, said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2008)

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