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Academics, Government Linked by New NGO

A non-profit and non-government organization with a focus on political restructuring studies and policy consultation was established on Saturday in Beijing.


Yu Keping, director of the newly founded Center for Chinese Government Innovations which is affiliated to the Institute of Political Development and Government Administration under Peking University, said his center was set up to build close co-operation between academia and officials.


It will also study significant theoretical issues and policies concerning Chinese governance innovations.


Consisting of dozens of renowned professors and researchers in political and social studies, Yu said his center would find, evaluate, study, reward and disseminate innovations adopted by all levels of government in order to promote a socialist political civilization in China.


Jointly run by the Ford Foundation and two Chinese institutions on political studies, the center is undertaking selections for the second Government Innovations Awards. The focus is currently on exploring a set of objective criteria for evaluating local government performances in a bid to promote studies on Chinese politics, according to Yu.


The first 2002 awards selected 10 winners and 10 runners-up from 320 local applicants. Among the winners, the competitive election for township mayors and Communist Party secretaries in Southwest China's Sichuan Province was an eye-catching governance innovation.


Yu said since the reform and opening-up, governments at various levels have made many brave reforms and innovations in different fields, such as public service, administration reform, political transparency, grass-roots democracy and scientific decision-making.


All of the innovations were considered for participation in the second set of awards for 2003-04, in order to exchange experiences and push forward political progress in China, said Yu.


(China Daily August 25, 2003)


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