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Beijing civil servants ordered to dress properly
Updated: 2005-08-02 10:35

Male government employees wearing long hair and ladies with shoulder-strap blouses have been barred from entering office buildings of the Haidian District Government of this capital city of China as of Monday.

In a bid to burnish the public image of the Beijing's civil servants before the 2008 Olympic Games female government clerks wearing tan top are barred from entering office buildings of the Haidian District. [baidu]
This is just part of the government campaign to burnish the public image of the city's civil servants before the 2008 Olympic Games.

Civil servants are required to dress properly when on duty. Shorts and sandals are strictly forbidden. Ladies are also advised to wear light makeup.

The district government has also set up a committee supervising the appearance of their employees. Those who refuse to correct themselves after warnings will be disqualified for annual evaluations.

Meanwhile, the municipal government of Beijing is drawing up a set of regulations concerning the appearance for civil servants in the city. The rules are expected to stipulate more details from the make-up to hair styles.

"We all have our own little problems or bad habits with our appearance and behavior before the public," Liu Guanjun, a deputy to the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, said." But if you are a civil servant representing the government image and are being watched by the public, you should act like a role model."

While admitting shoulder-strap blouses have become vogue among young Chinese women in this hot summer season, bare feet in sandals are also highly visible among the public, Liu maintained that such behaviors,incompatible with public servants' capacity at office, have constituted disrespect to citizens they serve.

The unsatisfactory image of civil servants in China has often affected the trust of ordinary Chinese for the government, he said. Some never use "please" or "thank you" in conversations with the citizens they work for.

"It's obvious to notice the gap between Chinese civil servants and their counterparts in Japan, Korea and western countries," Liu said. "Lots of things remain to be done on the image of our civil servants before they face bigger tests, such as the Beijing Olympics."

Shen Dan, a woman deputy to the National People's Congress from South China's Guangdong Province, has even proposed nationwide education on manners and etiquette for all public servants. "Some are not even ashamed of their poor manners because they can't tell what is proper from what is not."

Zhejiang Province and several other provinces in south China have already applied such etiquette regulations to civil servants in recent years.

Scholars say the reason behind the careless dressing for civil servants in China lies in the outdated idea that too much attention on the appearance for public servants is "simply decadent."

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