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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Carrying the winds of change

By Liu Yujie (China Daily)

08:36, January 04, 2012

The program to transfer officials from one province or region to another began 15 years ago, with each posting being for a three-year period. Last year, a new (or the sixth) group of 58 officials from Shanghai, averaging about 36 years, was selected for the program.

Forty-year-old Zhang Wei, Party committee secretary of Gyantse county, which is spread over 3,800 sq km with more than 70,000 people in the Xigaze prefecture of the Tibet autonomous region, is one of them. Zhang says: "Most of us came (to Tibet) with some reluctance. There wasn't much of a choice for few of my colleagues met the selection standards "

Before being sent to Tibet, Zhang was the director of Xinzhuang Industrial Zone in Minhang district of Shanghai municipality.

Candidates who are selected for the transfer program should have the experience of working at the grassroots level, be the leader of a town and be below 45 yeas of age.

Even after serving in Tibet for more than a year, Zhang finds life harsh in the region physically and mentally both. The officials can go back home only once a year, usually from December to February, that is, during the height of winter, when it is almost impossible for most plainsmen to work at high altitudes, because of lack of oxygen. Officials' families can visit and stay with them in Tibet during summer, though.

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