Education through service

Updated: 2013-03-05 07:01

By Peng Yining (China Daily)

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Yu, who was the municipality's Party chief at the time, instructed his driver to take him directly to the shabby community behind the affluent high-rise blocks without informing the district officials, according to an official quoted in a Xinhua report.

Before his election as a member of the Standing Committee, Liu Yunshan was a journalist for Xinhua, based in Inner Mongolia, where he worked from 1975 until 1982 and developed a deep interest in the local communities.

Liu's empathy with the people has stayed with him over the years, despite his transition from journalist to senior official, according to Xinhua.

He has urged journalists to write about the lives of ordinary people and to speak out for them. "Get down to the ground. Only in this way can we become people of confidence and intelligence," he said.

Guo Fenghai, professor of Marxism studies at the PLA National Defense University said, "Now people are talking about the 'China Dream'. Improved well-being is an important part of this dream." Guo was referring to a concept Xi proposed shortly after being elected as Party General Secretary. Xi explained that realizing the renewal of the Chinese nation is the country's greatest modern aspiration.

China's new leaders have experienced life at all levels, but especially on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Those experiences rooted the idea of improving public well-being in their lives and ideology. With their grassroots backgrounds, they can effect great changes from the platform of the central political apparatus.

"China has grown to become the world's second-largest economy, but our living standards still have room for improvement, such as a cleaner environment and better social security," said Guo. "People's well-being is the government's top consideration, and it always should be."

Jiang Xueqing and Wu Wencong contributed to this story

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Education through service 

Yu Zhengsheng meeting staff and volunteers at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. [Photo/Xinhua] 

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