Public interests Party's top priority

Updated: 2013-06-26 01:31

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

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President Xi Jinping has asked senior Party leaders to play a leading role in improving governance, reaching out to the people and exercising frugality.

Xi, the top Party leader, made the remarks during a four-day meeting attended by members of the Political Bureau, the Party's top organ, which ended on Tuesday.

The members should make issues concerning public interests their top priority, strictly prevent their relatives and subordinates from seeking privileges and set a good example for all Party members, Xi said.

Political Bureau members should also get closer to the people and address issues that most concern them, Xi said.

The Political Bureau is the Party's top ruling organization, with 25 members including seven standing committee members.

During the meeting, the senior officials reviewed important remarks made by former leaders including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping on how to maintain close ties with the people.

The members also discussed ways to improve work styles, and examined their own conduct to see whether they comply with the "eight measures" put forward by the new leadership in December to fight bureaucracy and cut red tape.

China Central Television reported that, contrary to the general practice in officialdom, where officials only read what their secretaries write for them, all of the Political Bureau members at the meeting wrote their own speeches as a means to implement the "eight measures".

According to a statement issued after the meeting, government officials will continue to cut spending on official cars, reception banquets and overseas trips.

The meeting required governments at all levels to standardize officials' entitlements to offices, housing, cars, secretaries, guards, social welfare and vacations so that no one enjoys excessive benefits; and to see that no official gives or accepts gifts.

The conference also called for efforts to perfect the official performance evaluation system and to allow it to drive changes in work style.

Xi asked members to remain steadfast in their ideals and beliefs, and to strengthen their political acumen and judgment.

The Political Bureau members concluded that the current domestic and international situation is quite complex, which has challenged the Party's ruling abilities.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said the Party is trying to improve its ruling abilities and meet increasing demands from the public.

The Party's image has been seriously undermined because of the long-existing phenomena of officials' bureaucracy and extravagance, Jiang said.

"Only by improving the Party itself continuously and efficiently will the ruling Party regain the trust of many people," he said.

Long-term supervision must be established to curb abuses of power, and the process of decision-making should be made more transparent, he said.