Self-reflection key for CPC to improve
Updated: 2013-07-06 15:27
BEIJING - When China's leadership introduced the latest campaign against undesirable work styles, people wondered how they were going to implement it.
Late last month, the 25-member Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee gave an answer by holding a meeting on June 22-25.
An important part of the meeting's schedule was that every member of the Political Bureau, all high-profile Party officials, made a speech and discussed how he or she improved their own working style and how they implemented an "eight-point" regulation that the CPC leadership began promoting in December to ban extravagance and formalism.
In a statement issued after the meeting, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping said the Political Bureau members had a high-quality meeting, sharing their thoughts, exchanging ideas and discussing problems.
Political Bureau members should "implement the do's before asking others to do so, and certainly not do something themselves if they don't want others to do it," the statement said.
Such self-analysis-like process may seem strange for foreign politicians but has long been an active practice in the political life of the CPC.
Previous CPC leaders including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping tried the method a number of times when the Party faced problems or disputes and needed to improve its work.
The CPC Constitution also lists it as an important part of Party work in a bid to seek the truth and correct mistakes.
Prof Xie Chuntao, with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, regarded the process of self-reflection, no matter it is made by the Party or by each official, as a key to the CPC's success in ruling China for such a long time.
"It is always easier to point fingers at others but it will do no good to improve the situation," he said. "Finding out our own mistakes is the most effective way out."
The current campaign of reinforcing the "mass line," which champions close Party-people relations, is in fact a self-reflection effort by the CPC as its leadership has been fully aware of persistent problems such as red tape, corruption and Party-people alienation among officials.
Xi said at a meeting in June that the campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance among officials.
In the campaign, every Party official is asked to focus on self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression, or metaphorically "look into the mirror, straighten the attire, take a bath and seek remedies."
The senior leaders in the Political Bureau set the example first.
Compared with the Party's old days, such a process is more difficult today.
However, the Party has confidence in its members that they are willing to and capable of reflecting on their conduct and correcting their own mistakes, as Communists believe mankind can realize ultimate liberation through their own efforts.