|Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) visits Zhang Jingzhi (C), an 85-year-old senior villager, at Zhangzhuang Village in Lankao County, central China's Henan Province, March 17, 2014. Xi made an inspection tour in Lankao from March 17 to 18, directing the "mass line" educational campaign. The Communist Party of China (CPC) initiated the year-long campaign in June, 2013 to strengthen the "mass line", referring to a guideline under which the CPC is required to prioritize the interests of the people. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)|
ZHENGZHOU, March 18 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has suggested a more stern and sharp approach in ongoing anti-decadence campaigns to press Party officials and cadres to improve their work style.
"The work of criticism and self-criticism should be intensified," Xi said on Tuesday, stressing the need for stimulation, just like "adding a bit of chili pepper to make every Party official blush and sweat a little."
The public should be allowed to lodge complaints and make criticism more boldly and openly, Xi said when addressing a group of grassroots officials in Lankao County in central China's Henan Province.
As part of the second round of a Communist Party of China (CPC) campaign to close Party-people relations and deter harmful work styles, each of the seven Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee is allocated a county to supervise its progress. Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has been paired with Lankao.
The campaign also requires Party officials to check and report their own problems and mistakes while summarizing the flaws of their colleagues to disciplinary supervisors.
During the trip from Monday to Tuesday, Xi stressed that rural areas are the foundation of the CPC's governance and are crucial to the Party's guidance and policies, demanding quality and competence from grassroots officials to boost rural development.
Xi collected opinions from local officials and residents. "Talking to the people face to face, (I am) able to understand the true feeling and realistic demands of the people," the president said.
Xi said that the Party members must improve their work style and adhere to the tenet of "serve the people" so to gain sincere support from the people.
A highlight of his trip was the visit to the memorial of Jiao Yulu, a late model official who worked in Lankao in the 1960s.
Jiao devoted his life to combating sandstorms, saline-alkali land disasters and floods, known as the "three disasters" that then plagued the county. He died of liver cancer in 1964 at the age of 42.
Through his various posts, Xi has been trumpeting Jiao as a model official who was responsible and cared for the people.
"Jiao built a lasting monument in local people's hearts after working in the county for only over a year... A question to be pondered is what we can leave for future generations," Xi told a seminar attended by local officials.
While talking with residents and officials at the village where Jiao's campaign against sandstorms first saw victory, Xi noted crops as the leading product of the county and urged local officials to offer first-hand experiences to higher-level departments in order to reform and improve related policies targeting the grassroots level.
Xi insisted that the anti-decadence campaign be carried out at a high, strict standard and issues raised by the public be solved without delay.
"Explanations should be given for problems that cannot be solved immediately, and those requiring policy support from superiors should be noted in a timely manner," Xi said.
Stressing that the campaign is in line with "the legacy of Jiao," Xi told officials to have people in their hearts, disregard self interests, always seek truths and maintain a heroic and daring spirit despite any difficulties.
The second phase of the CPC campaign focuses on grassroots Party members and officials, and promoting the spirit of the rural official will be highly targeted, said Zhang Zhiming, professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
Some Party officials have doubted the implementation of the campaign since its initiation. Xi chose Lankao as an example to prove that the CPC has the tradition of cultivating good work styles and establishing Party-masses relation, said Xin Ming, another professor with the school.
Officials were also urged to study more, better understand policies, inspect grassroots levels to gather first-hand experiences and think of ways to solve obvious problems.
The president asked Party officials to "maintain a balance between kindness and principles" when handling connections, telling them to reduce unnecessary social activities and keep healthy work and life styles.
"Stay away from vulgar things... and keep on high alert against everything seductive and corruptive," Xi told officials.
According to Xi, the campaign should focus on both finding solutions for specific problems and guiding officials to improve themselves.