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'Thorough cleanup' of undesirable styles

By ZHAO YINAN (China Daily)

08:19, June 19, 2013

Party members urged to adopt 'mass line' to improve their ties with public

Xi Jinping, leader of the Communist Party of China, said Tuesday that the CPC's upcoming year-long campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.

"The main task of the campaign focuses on building work styles," Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said at a high-profile teleconference held to launch the campaign.

He urged its members to adopt the "mass line" as they did during revolutionary times, in a move to improve ties with the public.

"Although the work style of most Party members is down to earth, a large number of officials have cut themselves off from the public," Xi said.

The "mass line" refers to a fundamental policy of the CPC introduced before 1949, when Party members were encouraged to build their ties with grassroots people, reflect on their own practices and correct any misbehavior.

At Tuesday's conference, Party members were told to be critical in evaluating other officials as well as their own performance, with a view to rectifying improper working styles. The campaign will focus on Party organs and officials at or above the county level, Xi said.

"Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CPC's survival or extinction," Xi warned.

"The CPC can only be stable when it dedicates its soul and mind to the people, and relies on the people to push forward historical advancement."

Xi urged members to "watch from the mirror, groom oneself, take a bath and seek remedies".

He said watching from the mirror requires members to refer to the CPC Constitution as a mirror and to live up to CPC discipline and public expectations. Grooming oneself means correcting one's misconduct and projecting a good image of CPC members.

Taking a bath requires CPC members to keep a clean mind and behave properly in order to maintain the correct nature of a CPC member.

Seeking remedies means educating or punishing those who engage in misconduct.

Previously, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the Party's top ruling body, pledged in January to control the total size of its membership, optimize its structure and improve the quality of Party members.

A survey showed most netizens and local officials believe progress is being made in implementing rules introduced by the Party to fight bureaucracy and formalism.

About 72 percent of netizens and 88 percent of grassroots officials polled said that the biggest improvement in Party members' work style was made in reducing the number of extravagant receptions held to mark officials' visits, according to a poll conducted by People's Daily between May 29 and June 6.

Nearly 2,400 netizens and 500 officials from various provinces participated in the survey, according to the newspaper.

About 59 percent of netizens and 85 percent of local officials surveyed said official meetings have been shortened, although about 5 percent of netizens and 3 percent of local officials said the situation was getting worse.

Respondents have also suggested building a sound system with more specific standards and supervision to improve CPC members' work style.

Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the Party is seeking to build trust with the public.

"The distrust originates from corrupt and bureaucratic behavior of Party members and will endanger the Party's rule if it is not dealt with," he said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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