Updated: 2013-07-19 07:08
The mass line 群众路线 (qun zhong lu xian)
The "mass line" is a methodology of the Communist Party of China, introduced by Chairman Mao Zedong to compel the CPC rank and file to stay close to the people. It's back in the limelight after top CPC leaders decided in April to launch a year-long "mass line" campaign in the second half of this year in a bid to strengthen Party-people ties.
The mass line campaign was officially launched at a meeting of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee in June. Party General Secretary Xi Jinping said in his speech at the meeting that the campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles. He said the campaign was a crackdown on the "four forms of decadence", that is, "formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance".
To adhere to the mass line, Party members have been asked to "take a long look in the mirror, groom themselves, take a bath and seek remedies". A more prosaic meaning of Xi's folksy and plain words is that Party officials should reflect on their actions and correct their misbehavior in order to form closer ties with the people.
Party cadres will carry out practical mass line education, including holding study sessions and mixing with grassroots people to establish good relations with them. The mass line campaign follows the "eight measures" among other relentless efforts launched by China's new leadership to fight corruption and improve the work styles of Party officials and cadres.
The mass line is considered the Party's "lifeline", a "fundamental route of work", and a legacy of the founding fathers of the People's Republic of China. Though the mass line has been followed in different times, the need to prioritize the interests of the people, to make efforts to solve their problems, and to share their successes and failures was never more urgent than now.
(China Daily USA 07/19/2013 page15)