Opinion / Zhu Yuan

Wishing a more equitable Year of the Monkey

By Zhu Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-06 08:50

Several deputy Party secretaries and members of the Party committee are supposed to share the decision-making powers. Yet such a power structure very often fails to function as the top leader has his/her own way of bringing all of them under his sway. Ridiculous, but true. If a leading member wants to do something his/her own way, he or she has to curry favor with the top leader, who can bring the appellant under his/her influence by granting the favor.

A top leader's close relationship with his immediate senior or even higher-level leadership is also a guarantee for the absolute authority he/she can exert over colleagues as well as subordinates. As a result, anyone objecting to or challenging his/her absolute authority would hardly get any support from either colleagues or higher-level leaders.

That explains why a top leader of an SOE or any Party committee almost always has absolute authority over everything, which has become the very source of abuse of power and/or destructive decision making.

Such absolute authority is an obstacle to the collective leadership, which the Party hopes to overcome to eradicate corruption and prevent wrong decision from being made.

The absolute authority a top leader uses to force his/her will on colleagues is very similar to the incantations used by the Buddhist monk to subdue the Monkey King to neutralize the latter's power to disobey his wrong decisions.

To further the fight against corruption and end the unhealthy working styles within the Party in the Year of the Monkey, it is imperative that the absolute powers top leaders enjoy be diluted through tighter supervision or other institutional constraints. If a New Year wish is necessary for the ruling Party and the nation in the Year of Monkey, it should be to allow collective leadership to prevail at all levels - similar to removing the golden ring around the Monkey King's head - to facilitate the healthy development of the country.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.


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