Xi honors Henan official as exceptional civil servant

Updated: 2014-03-19 08:28

By An Baijie in Beijing and Qi Xin in Henan (China Daily USA)

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Former Party chief of Lankao county died at his post in 1964

President Xi Jinping urged government officials on Tuesday to look upon the people they serve as family members and celebrated a local official from Henan province known for his work ethic as a model for officials to revere.

"If (officials) deem the people as their parents and relatives, they will not use the 'forbidden words'," Xi said on Tuesday in reference to a list of forbidden words and phrases posted at a service center in Lankao county that reminds civil servants to treat people with respect and to refrain from uttering phrases such as, "The office is not open yet. Why did you come so early?"

During a seminar on Tuesday after an inspection tour of the province, Xi called on officials to learn from Jiao Yulu, a local county official who died at his post in 1964 and was known for his tireless spirit and public dedication.

From 1962 to 1964, Jiao served as chief of Lankao county. In that first year, after sandstorms and floods battered the province, destroying crops and homes, Jiao helped many of the county's residents who had lost their homes to the floods rebuild their homes. He also urged county officials to redouble their efforts in helping uprooted residents.

In one oft-told story of Jiao, he apparently refused to stay in the hospital despite suffering from liver cancer and worked as a civil servant until his death.

Xi said on Tuesday that Jiao should be a model for all Party members. He recalled that as a middle school student, he was so deeply moved when his teacher spoke of Jiao's deeds that he would cry during class.

During the seminar, Xi read a poem honoring Jiao that he had written when he was head of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, in the 1990s.

After reciting his poem, he said government officials should strive for self-improvements to win the people's support.

Xi urged officials to improve work efficiency and establish a long-term mechanism to provide high-quality public services.

"We are here for the same purpose and I am also coming to learn," Xi told a group of officials who were visiting the Jiao Yulu Memorial Hall.

Zhao Xueting, a disciplinary official of Lankao county who met Xi on Monday, said Xi encouraged him to enhance his supervision of officials and to not tolerate corruption.

"The president told me to act like iron Bao Gong (an ancient Chinese official famous for his tough anti-graft measures) since the tasks for disciplinary officials are heavy," he said.

Dong Huanwen, a traffic officer in Kaifeng, said he will learn from Jiao Yulu and be more patient while enforcing the law.

Contact the writers at anbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn and qixin@chinadaily.com.cn.

(China Daily USA 03/19/2014 page4)