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|Saturday, June 23, 2001, updated at 09:36(GMT+8)|
Feature: First Beijing Vice-mayor Faces Legislators' ReviewFacing an audience of more than 200 Friday morning, Yue Fuhong, vice-mayor of Beijing, has become one of the first Chinese ranking officials to go through an all- round review by the delegates from the municipal people's congress.
After Yue finished his work report, came the highlight of the conference --- each of the twenty delegates made a ten-minute review over Yue's performance.
"As a vice-mayor elected by the people, I am obligated to accept the supervision of the municipal people's congress and its delegates," Yue said.
Xu Renfa was the first to air his point of view toward the senior official.
"As the vice-major in charge of rural work, he has made remarkable contributions to the fast economic development in Beijing's outskirts since he took office in 1997," Xu said.
"In the past several years, the rural areas of Beijing have undergone an unprecedented change in history," he added.
Xu said that Yue has proved to be an eligible public servant, when a bell rang indicating Xu had no more time to narrate his opinions.
In high spirits, however, Xu asked for a few more minutes to illustrate his dissatisfaction with certain negative aspects, ranging from farmers' excessive tax burdens to disappointing social order in the suburbs.
These issues deserve Yue's concern and should be dealt with as quickly as possible, Xu noted.
Many of the delegates came up with criticisms concerning the problems of farmers' well-being, such as water shortages, heavy taxes, and illegal exploitation of cropland.
Listening attentively, Yue took detailed notes of the delegates ' frank criticisms and suggestions.
Starting as a high-school teacher, Yue Fuhong, now aged 51, used to be the head of a county affiliated to Beijing.
With the preparation work initiated two months ago, the review conference has aroused wide public attention and attracted some citizens to attend.
"I just want to see how the people's congress reviews a senior administrative official," said Yuan Huatao, member of the Beijing- based China Aerospace Corporation.
"In the past, ordinary citizens had no opportunity to attend such a conference," he added, saying "now we have the right and obligation to do so."
The review touched more on the official's merits and less on his defects, said Wan Qigang, a fellow with the policy research department under the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC).
"However, if the review work could be conducted on a large scale, more officials will become self-disciplined and the cases of corruption will be greatly reduced," he said.
Some delegates reaffirmed the significance of enhancing the people's supervision over officials, citing the case of former Beijing mayor Chen Xitong, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to jail years ago.
Liu Qi, mayor of Beijing, also attended the review conference, saying it is a good method conducive to improving the government performance.
At the annual session of the 9th National People's Congress held in March, more than 30 delegates proposed that the NPC and its standing committee review the performances of a couple of vice premiers and some ministers.
"Now the NPC is drafting laws regarding the legislature's review over administrative officials, and many of whom have felt the pressure, " Wan said.
So far, a vice-governor of Shaanxi Province, with the same rank as Yue's, has also been reviewed by local people's congress, sources said.
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