Opinion / From the Press

Behind government cars is privilege

( Updated: 2013-01-21 20:29

The Party chief of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Wang Rong, starts driving a local-brand electric car to commute between his office and home. He is setting an example by promoting green cars among government officials. It is easier to follow him, but it is very difficult to eliminate the officials' privilege consciousness that is closely attached to government cars, says an editorial in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

Wang said the electronic car is enough for his daily work and life. Yet to many officials, government cars are not only transportation tools but also a symbol of social status, official rank and privilege. Many officials prefer government cars to the traffic subsidies provided for them if they choose to give up the government cars.

The new leadership of the Communist Party of China is calling for all Chinese civil servants to improve their working style and image in society. Replacing costly gas-guzzlers made by foreign carmakers with electric cars, public transportations or even bicycles is an effective way to realize those two purposes.

More importantly, the officials' sense of privilege is very costly to the nation in terms of money and the environment. As the Chinese government is trying its best to transform the Chinese economy, it should first consider transforming government's functions. Changing their cars will be a simple, yet profound and definite, message to society.

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