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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

China revitalizes township governments to maintain stability

By Gao Feng, Wang Xuetao and Zuo Wei (Xinhua)

14:28, November 26, 2011

ANZE COUNTY, Shanxi Province, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Ruihai faced a potentially life-threatening situation late one night when heavy rains triggered a mudslide near his home in a village in north China.

However, instead of calling the local fire department, he pulled out a small card with a telephone number on it and dialed up a local government official.

"The phone was answered right after I called. The township sent over more than 10 people," Zhang said. The workers sent by the township cleared away the earth surrounding Zhang's home on the very same day.

Zhang's village is part of Fucheng township, which is administered by Anze county in north China's Shanxi province. The county government has distributed cards with contact numbers for township-level service centers to residents in all seven of the county's towns, providing them with around-the-clock service.

"In the past, we had to go directly to the township to contact officials. We had to wait if they were having a meeting," Zhang recalled. "Now we, the common people, can be helped 24/7."

The service center in Fucheng is fully equipped with touchscreens, computers and telephones. Local residents can seek advice and help from the center via mail, telephone, Internet or by visiting in person.

The Fucheng town spent over 240,000 yuan (37,800 U.S. dollars) to buy equipment and set up the center, according to Niu Fusheng, the head of Fucheng township government.

"All of the people from the township government have to work their shifts at the center. Our work load has increased, but we work more efficiently," said Niu.

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