Party strengthens trust at grassroots

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, October 19, 2012
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Every year, dozens of delegations make "pilgrimages" to a community of 120,000 people in central China's Wuhan City. They are looking to understand the remarkable sense of harmony achieved by Baibuting neighborhood.

The recipe, residents say, is active Communist Party of China (CPC) organizations. Through Party groups set up in every apartment building, a Baibuting invention, some 6,200 CPC members listen to and helpt residents, building a trusting relationship that enables the community to solve neighborhood issues.

When the CPC opens its 18th national congress on November 8, enhancing its relationship with the people will be an important goal driving policy decisions. With a task to realize prosperity for China, the CPC will continue to count on the support of the nation's 1.3-billion-strong population.

In recent years, some Party officials have turned a blind eye to the interests of the people and used the office for personal gains, leading to grave public grievances and even conflicts between citizens and government.

Wukan wisdom

Last year, Wukan, an obscure village in south China's Guangdong Province, grabbed international headlines when its residents staged three waves of large-scale rallies in four months to protest officials' illegal land grabs and violations of financing and election rules.

One year after disgruntled residents staged a mass rally, progress has been evident in the village's self-governance. Order was restored after a senior provincial official held talks with villagers in December, and the election of a new village committee was held earlier this year.

Wang Bo, vice secretary of the Baibuting community CPC committee, says, "We won trust and authority by getting things done one by one for residents."

In Wang's view, residents' complaints are often the result of buck-passing between government departments, so the community CPC committee must take responsibility for coordination.

One example of how Baibuting's Party management has played out came several years ago.

A public square built for fitness and entertainment activities soon became popular, but then the problem of noise arose. Some complained that outdoor karaoke was too loud, while those engaged in the sing-alongs insisted their practice was for health.

Complaints from both sides flooded into the community Party committee office. According to Zhang Jitao, the office head, the situation at the time met the requirements for launching a procedure that the committee designed to handle major community issues.

Fierce quarrels

First, the committee held a meeting with representatives from both sides, but the difference was unbridgeable and fierce quarrels forced an early end to the gathering.

The committee then sent Party members to personally hear opinions from each side. Survey questionnaires incorporating contrasting views were sent to over 10,000 residents not long after. The research showed that more than two-thirds of the respondents supported noise control. "For us, the survey results meant authorization," remembers Zhang.

The community administration committee, which works under the Party committee, drafted a noise control convention based on the survey. It set limits on the use of karaoke speakers in terms of volume, time and place. After the convention was proofread by legal experts, it was adopted in a vote in the community's resident assembly. To enforce it, the Party committee organized patrols. Through this procedure, the community has also solved other issues like illegal parking.

As a deputy to the 18th CPC National Congress, Baibuting's Wang Bo has been preparing for discussions during the summit and she will share her experience in strengthening Party-people relationships at the grassroots.

"It's through every little tiny thing we do for citizens that we can implement the Party's principle of serving the people. The people's affection for the Party will in turn grow bit by bit so that the Party can win their support," she says.

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