A simple four character phrase 'Barong, ba chi' or the "eight honors, eight disgraces" raised by Chinese President Hu Jintao in March, is becoming the new moral yardstick to measure the work, conduct and attitude of Communist Party officials.
In the Chinese language the list of eight honors and disgraces reads like rhyming couplets and sounds almost poetic.
-- Love the country; do it no harm
-- Serve the people; do no disservice.
-- Follow science; discard ignorance.
-- Be diligent; not indolent.
-- Be united, help each other; make no gains at other's expense
-- Be honest and trustworthy; do not spend ethics for profits
-- Be disciplined and law-abiding; not chaotic and lawless.
-- Live plainly, struggle hard; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.
Prof. Han Qingxiang, a university philosophy professor, told Xinhua that Chinese society is undergoing a transition. He says some people have lost their direction and have blurred the differences between right and wrong, honor and disgrace.
"Although most officials are well disciplined a few of them in important posts have failed to serve the country and the people. They have indulged in self promotion and nepotism. Their wrong doings have severely poisoned the social atmosphere," said the professor who is with the Central Communist Party School, or the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee has decided to use the list of do's and don'ts as an important assessment tool in order to select clean, diligent and capable officials for important posts.
The CPC will ask all its officials and members to reflect on the pairs of eight opposing values and hope it will refresh the atmosphere in official circles and have a positive influence on all citizens.
(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2006)