Xi stresses role of county Party chiefs

 

 

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (center), who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of

China (CPC) Central Committee, speaks with participants of the first seminar for county-level

Party chiefs at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing on January 12, 2015.

Photo by Rao Aimin 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (4th from left of back row) delivers a keynote speech during the

first seminar for county-level Party chiefs at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee

in Beijing on Janury 12, 2015.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from left of back row) delivers a keynote speech during the

first seminar for county-level Party chiefs at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee

in Beijing on January 12, 2015.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (front) delivers a keynote speech during the first seminar for county-

level Party chiefs at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing on January 12, 2015.  

Photo by Rao Aimin

 

 

 

Xi stresses

role of county Party chiefs

By Ren Ke, Wang Xiaofei, Liu Tong, Tian Ying, Cheng Zhuo and Hu Longjiang

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday of January 12 lauded the role of county level governments, however, he underscored the integral role officials played in ensuring efficiency.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was speaking with participants of the first seminar for county-level Party chiefs at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

Xi said county-level governments had taken on more responsibility in the implementation of reform measures, the promotion of rule of law and the enforcement of strict Party discipline. Thus, Party chiefs must acknowledge their authority and exercise self-discipline in their work.

Counties are the joints that link the higher and lower levels of the Party and the government, Xi said, adding that county-level CPC committees were the “front-line headquarters” and county Party chiefs the “front-line commanders in chief”.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and other senior officials also attended the seminar.

A total of 200 county-level Party chiefs were present at the three hour long seminar and some representatives delivered speeches. Xi said that these speeches reminded him of the time when he was Party chief of Zhengding County, Hebei Province, in the 1980s.

Experts said counties played a key role in connecting the grassroots with the upper echelons of the state, and the seminar showed efforts were being taken to consolidate primary-level authorities for the betterment of the whole country.

The seminar program, which began in November 2014, plans to train all county-level Party chiefs by the end of 2017.

 

LOYALTY TO THE PARTY

 

Loyalty to the Party, Xi stressed, is the most important criterion for assessing county Party chiefs and key posts at this level must be filled by those committed to the Party.

County Party chiefs will be surrounded by temptation. Without loyalty to the Party to ground them, they could be distracted by offers of money, sex or power, Xi warned.

“You must remember that you are the CPC’s county Party chief and you report to the CPC,” Xi said.

County cadres must steer their organizations along the right political path, as they themselves must follow the Party line and uphold their responsibilities to the CPC, Xi said.

In addition, Xi said all county-level officials were required to champion solidarity with the Party.

Xi also asked county officials to continue to study Marxist Theory and maintain a firm stance on matters of principle, including on the system of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

County cadres were warned by Xi that their work should be in accordance with the central authority, as they had to implement the decisions it made.

Furthermore, Xi asked county officials to put the people first and to avoid being preoccupied with the selfish interests of reputation and rank.

Xi then said that although China was heading toward its goal of building a moderately prosperous society, there were still people living in poverty, therefore, this was an important area to address, especially for officials stationed in underdeveloped counties.

 

DEDICATION TO THE PEOPLE

 

“To be a good party chief you must put the people first,” Xi said.

The president recalled that when he was a party chief, he would often cycle to villages to conduct research in the field. He said he sometimes had to carry the bike to cross rivers and that it was “a little bit toilsome”, but it brought him closer to the people.

Xi urged officials to be modest about their work and accomplishments, and always respect and listen to public opinion.

County-level Party chiefs are role models within their localities and, thus, should lead by example and put people-oriented programs into practice, Xi said, adding that they should oppose and rectify any undesirable work styles.

The president also underscored that all officials should be responsible and committed.

“Officials must not only care about their position but also their duties. They must not only be after power.

“Party chiefs are responsible for ensuring that a specific working assignment is properly put in place,” Xi said

Xi called for enthusiasm and commitment, stressing that officials should be courageous in the face of challenges and difficulties and should actively solve problematic issues rather than skirting around them.

Xi noted that power should only be used to serve the Party, the nation and the people — not any individual.

Power must be used in a rightful, legal, fair and honest manner, and officials should always be reverent, cautious and self-disciplined, Xi said.

“Being an official and making a fortune are two different roads. You want to be an official, then you must forget any aspirations of becoming rich,” Xi said.

Moreover, Xi stressed, local Party chiefs should observe due procedures and listen to the opinions of others. They should also take the lead and uphold the law.

 

CONSOLIDATE PRIMARY-LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS

 

Experts said counties have a significant position in China’s political system, and strengthened governance at this level would benefit the whole country.

Chu Songyan, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the seminar aimed to strengthen governance from the ground up.

“There is a Chinese saying that goes ‘to run the country well, you must first start at the county’. [Which is similar to the] adage: ‘A stable country comes with the stability of counties and prefectures’,” said Chu.

“Whether a county is governed well is reflected by public opinion ,” Chu added.

Xie Chuntao, a professor at the Party School, said county Party chiefs were essential to the successful implementation of policies at the grassroots level.

“Sometimes the demands they hear are unreasonable, influenced by immediate interests rather than long-term ones. or partial interests instead of the whole. But they must take all of these opinions into consideration,” added Xie.

 

 

 

 

 

CHINA VOICE

 

Official training consolidates

Party governance foundation

 

By Li Huizi

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has described the role of county level Party chiefs as the “front-line commanders in chief.”

County chiefs are often thought of as “sesame officials” who don’t have much power, but Xi told 206 county Party chiefs in Beijing that their governments have taken on more responsibility in reforms, promotion of the rule of law and the enforcement of strict Party discipline.

By training officials at the grassroots level, the Communist Party of China (CPC) consolidates its governance foundation. In China, only villages and townships are below the county level. Counties play a key role in connecting the grassroots with the upper echelons of the state. They are the joints that link the higher and lower levels of the Party and the government. China has more than 2,800 counties or county-level administrative regions.

A stable country comes through stability of counties and prefectures.

As China pays great attention to the development of countryside and small or medium cities, counties have become a major economic growth engine.

County governance is a miniature of the state governance. The CPC is striving to modernize the state’s governing capacity. The efficiency of counties affects China’s stability.

There is a Chinese saying that goes, “to run the country well, you must first start at the county.” Xi’s own experience exemplifies the adage as he was a county Party chief in Hebei Province in 1980s.

Xi compared county-level CPC committees to the “front-line headquarters” reminding Party chiefs to exercise self-discipline, be loyal to the CPC and serve the people.

County officials have been major targets in the Party’s anti-corruption campaign. They possess a wide range of powers in their jurisdiction. If that power is abused, it can be extremely harmful. By putting check on that power, the CPC is warning officials to be honest. Last year, the campaign netted a large number of incumbent or former county Party chiefs.

Organized by the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, the 200-odd officials are the first group of participants in the seminar for county chiefs. The program, which began in November 2014, plans to train all county-level Party chiefs by the end of 2017.

Each seminar lasts two months, contrasting to previous one or two week training sessions in 2008 and 2010.

This first seminar was presided over by the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, who talked to the Party chiefs face-to-face for one and a half hours on Monday of January 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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