Stay vigilant about loss of government's 'intangible assets'

13:36, June 10, 2011      

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Sincerely responding to social concerns and voluntarily maintaining the governments' "intangible assets" including credibility are the political responsibilities of each party and government cadre. Emergencies would turn into negative factors harming the government's credibility if they cannot be dealt with well, while proper handling may enhance credibility.

While economic development and social wealth accumulation are tangible, credibility belongs to intangible assets. Just like tangible assets, intangible assets should also be accumulated bit by bit. The difference is that the government's intangible assets can be lost in a much easier and faster way. The responses of governments at all levels to hot issues and of social concern in recent years have demonstrated the rise and fall of intangible assets.

Following the 2009 Chengdu bus fire tragedy, the government disclosed information in an active and timely manner, which not only resolved various doubts and uncertainties but also united the pubic to face difficulty together with the government. Faced with public doubt about prohibiting groups of migrant workers to appeal for payments during the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, housing construction authorities lifted the ban and apologized publicly. This not only showed the spirit of Shenzhen as a special economic zone but also effectively maintained the reputation of the local government.

Emergencies would turn into negative factors harming the government's credibility if they cannot be dealt with well, while proper handling may enhance credibility.

It is important not to blame the information disclosers in the wake of events, but rather we should promote smooth exchange between the government and the public. Furthermore, we must not shift responsibilities after situation is worsened, but rather we should focus on solving practical problems. If emergencies can be responded to in such ways, the outcome will be a win-win result, turning crises into opportunities. The government’s public management and credibility will be improved and the public's legitimate aspirations and interests of fairness will be realized.

Some officials mistakenly believe that being open-minded to criticism and actively responding to public doubts will damage their image and prestige. However, nobody is always right, and the governments cannot always make the right decisions. When faced with criticism or unexpected events, cadres should not put off their duties or sweep mistakes under the carpet.

It has been repeatedly proven that it is inappropriate, overdue responses that makes things worse and even causes a trust crisis. The crisis could put government officials in a difficult situation where they will be criticized no matter what they do, even when they are doing good things, and people will not trust what they say, even when they are telling the truth.

In a period of social transformation when some conflicts emerge, local governments carry heavy burden and the cadres face great challenges in governance. Despite all difficulties, the Party should adhere to the principle of wholeheartedly serving the people, implement the scientific development outlook and strengthen the belief that "intangible assets," including public trust, are much more important than "tangible assets" such as economic growth.

Certain local governments are increasing "tangible assets" at the expense of "intangible assets." More specifically, they have built high-rise buildings, established convenient modern transportation systems, and achieved rapid GDP growth, but the forced demolition, corruption, jerry-built projects and pollution problems have simultaneously reduced public trust in government.

The people's trust is vital to the Party. The Party's experience over the past 90 years shows that the reason behind the Party's development from small to large and from weak to strong and becoming the country’s ruling party lies in its unwavering belief and persistent pursuit in serving the interests of the Chinese people. This is why the Party Central Committee has repeatedly urged Party and administrative cadres to exercise power for the people, share the feelings of the people and serve the interests of the people. Given the current new situation, the Party Central Committee has particularly stressed that Party and administrative cadres must step up and improve the work related to the masses, and strengthen and reform social management.

As the people's interests are above all, the government can only win the people's trust and secure a value guarantee for its work by preserving the people's interests.

The needs of the people are the most fundamental governing resources. Sincerely responding to public concerns, proactively enhancing government credibility and consciously preserving "intangible assets" is the political responsibility of every Party and administrative cadre. If Party and administrative cadres have such understanding of government credibility, they will be able to win the support of the people so as to jointly promote China's modernization drive.

By People's Daily Online
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