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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

China revitalizes township governments to maintain stability (2)

(Xinhua)

14:30, November 26, 2011

For each 24-hour shift, four staff members team up with two township officials. If a township resident makes any kind of request other than a consultation, they are required to arrive on the spot within half an hour and solve the problem within three days, according to Niu.

"No resident has evaded the village or township government to appeal directly to the county government ever since," said Niu.

In China, complaining directly to higher authorities is a common yet problematic practice. Anze county's system seeks to combat this problem by requiring officials at the village and township levels to accompany local residents to appeal to higher authorities if the officials can't handle the problem themselves. Higher authorities are also required to set aside time for visiting residents.

"This has effectively prevented community-level officials from shirking their responsibilities. It is also a way to assess their work attitude and ability," said Ren Xiuhong, the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Anze county.

Liu Desheng, an elderly resident of the township, has been quite grateful for the new system. In July, Liu complained to his village that a shared doorway built by his neighbor was too high. Unable to settle the issue on their own, Liu and a village official went together to the township government and the land bureau of the county government. The township eventually paid to rebuild the doorway.

"The officials really made an effort. I am very satisfied," said Liu.

Since June 2011, village-level service stations have received 325 on-site complaints and mediated 564 civil disputes. The numbers are less than 100 for township-level requests. The county-level department received only nine complaints, according to Hou Yongjun, who works at the Anze county service center.

Most of the requests are inquiries about subsidies, disputes over housing issues and emergencies, said Hou.

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