Common sense can be a yardstick

Updated: 2013-08-01 09:02

By Zhu Yuan (China Daily)

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It is common sense that the renovation of urban roads or pavements will cause a lot of inconvenience to residents and such works should be completed as quickly as possible. And if such work is necessary, it should be done at night or during holidays to cause as little disruption as possible to normal traffic flows. But it is far too often that such renovations take place simply for the sake of renovation.

This is because by doing such repairs the relevant government department in charge will be able to get direct benefit or the officials in charge will get kickbacks from the team who gets the job. It is the corruption that gets the better of the officials.

When looking at things that common sense says should not have been done, they bring to mind the recipe of Party General Secretary Xi Jinping for good governance. Xi said that the governing of a country should be like cooking a delicious dish; meaning the right ingredients in the right amount should be used and only when every detail is done right will the dish come out tasting delicious. It also means that care must be taken with every step, as a slip could ruin the dish.

This is common sense.

Likewise with local leaders. First they need to have the intention of following the recipe. That is common sense. That is why there is an intensified fight against corruption to get rid of the factors that divert the attention of some leaders away from common sense.

Seeing whether a locality does things according to common sense may be an effective way to identify where abuses of power exist.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

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