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China Voice: China's new leaders show will to change


08:37, December 12, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A few weeks after taking office, China's new leaders have given the public a lot to talk about, particularly their attempts to shake bureaucracy.

At a Sunday meeting in south China's city of Guangzhou, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, encouraged participants to talk freely, as he did not ask officials to submit scripted speeches before the meeting and did not set the tone for the meeting himself.

These gestures may seem technical, but have a lot to do with the broader issue of improving governance.

People understand that if he had set the tone himself, others would be cautious about what they might say and try not to cross lines. Giving speeches by reciting scripts written beforehand is also a typical symbol of bureaucracy.

Xi's instructions at the Guangzhou meeting marked the latest move by new leaders to uphold a no-nonsense, down-to-Earth style of work.

Last week, a meeting of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee adopted a document calling for senior leaders to improve their work style in eight areas, including less spending on official trips and using a smaller security force when traveling on the road.

The importance of these changes was reflected in an online survey conducted by the China Youth Daily last week.

About 91 percent of the survey's 5,163 participants said they dislike officials who speak using cliched speech, while 71.3 percent said they believe such speech can harm public trust of the government, according to survey results published on Tuesday.

CPC leaders know how official behavior can affect both their public image and the ability of the CPC and government to lead.

Bureaucracy not only leads to low efficiency, poor management and breaches of duty, but has also been linked to stagnation.

Picking bureaucracy as their first target, China's new leaders have shown their will to make a difference and respond to people's concerns.

At a time when the country is facing a complex situation at home and abroad, people expect the new leadership to show a commitment to reform, the vision to lead reform in the right direction and the courage to see it through.

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