Democratic bid to select cadres
WILLY WO-LAP LAM
A SENIOR Politburo member has emphasised 'democratic participation' in the selection of a new generation of cadres.
Speaking at a conference on personnel held by the Organisation Department, Hu Jintao, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, pointed out that young cadres being groomed for top positions must have the 'qualities of a statesman'.
In addition to picking officials, Mr Hu, 52, indicated that the Communist Party must make more effort in training modernisation-minded entrepreneurs, specialists and professionals.
Analysts in Beijing said that it was one of the most liberal speeches by Mr Hu, considered a protege of conservative elder Song Ping.
While toeing the traditional line about choosing cadres who possess both Marxist morality and ability, Mr Hu, who is in charge of training a corps of 'cross-century cadres', underscored the role of democratic participation.
'There must be democratic recommendation, democratic appraisal and democratic testing,' the Chinese press yesterday quoted Mr Hu as saying.
'Democratic' screening would be synthesised with 'assessment by party organisations' as well as collective discussion by the relevant party committee of the performance of cadres who were being groomed.
Apart from democratic criteria, Mr Hu raised for the first time the idea that new leaders must have 'statesmanlike qualities'. He did not spell out what those qualities were.
The organisation chief also laid emphasis on training 'socialist entrepreneurs' who had knowledge of market economics and able to compete both locally and in the international marketplace.
Equally important was the propagation of a large body of technological personnel and other professionals with 'world standards', Mr Hu added.
At the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) last March, a number of deputies criticised the leadership for failing to consult popular opinion when naming cadres to senior positions such as vice-premiers and ministers.
Chinese sources said the people's trust in party cadres had been weakened by a spate of corruption scandals involving scores of officials in areas including Beijing, Shandong and Fujian.
Meanwhile, Politburo member and CPPCC Chairman Li Ruihuan spoke of boosting 'democratic consultation' in a session with members of the eight non-communist parties over the weekend.
Mr Li, a leader of the Communist Party's liberal wing, disclosed that early this year Beijing sent a circular asking all cadres to implement the principle of 'political consultation and democratic supervision'.
He added that President Jiang Zemin had in March given instructions on improving the work of the CPPCC, the country's top united front organisation.