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Leading officials urged to listen to public opinion

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-10 08:09

The central government has urged officials nationwide to listen to and respect public opinion in an ongoing campaign to improve the Party's ties with the people.

Leading officials should play a leading role in a campaign to eliminate undesirable work styles, and people's opinions toward the campaign must be heard, according to a statement published on the central government's website on Tuesday.

Authorities should provide more channels, such as setting up suggestion boxes or distributing questionnaires, to collect public opinions, the statement said.

The statement came after Xi Jinping, the Party's top leader, said on June 18 that the Party's upcoming yearlong campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

These four forms of misconduct are the most hated problems by the people and generate the most complaints, and have tarnished the image of the ruling Party, Xi said, calling for a campaign to correct all of these problems.

The campaign aims to boost ties between Party members and the people, since winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the Party's survival or extinction, Xi said.

On June 21, the central leading group of the campaign issued a circular urging Party members to be critical and self-critical, report others' wrongdoing and practice soul-searching.

To ensure the implementation of the campaign, 45 inspection teams have been dispatched to ministries, commissions, provinces and State-owned enterprises as of early this month.

The inspection teams, headed by incumbent or former ministerial-level officials, will check how Party and government agencies establish closer ties with the people and implement frugality, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Xi, who is also the top leader of China's military forces, also said in a meeting on Monday that senior military officers should examine their own conduct to eliminate bureaucracy and formalism.

It is important to make the campaign a regular and long-term task, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

Dai Yanjun, a professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said that dispatching inspection teams will help the central authorities to pinpoint problems that exist in local governments.

"There are some retired officials in the inspection team, and many of them have worked in local governments. As a result, they have a better understanding of the problems that exist in grassroots organizations," he said.

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