Avoid extravagance and live plainly, cadres told

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 January, 2007, 12:00am

Too many have been corrupted by luxury, says People's Daily

The People's Daily, has published two commentaries condemning cadres who squander public money while paying lip service to the notion of serving the people.

The latest, printed today, says many cadres have been corrupted by materialism and fallen because of a lust for luxury and extravagance.

The article says cadres should remember that China would be a developing country for years to come. Even when the country became more prosperous and strong in the future, it said the party's rank and file should practice plain living and avoid extravagance.

'We cannot abandon the good tradition of practising plain living and hard work, even when one day China becomes a developed country and raises our national strength,' the commentary says.

It links the virtues of plain living to the morality campaign of President Hu Jintao , in which he emphasised the importance of cadres following 'socialist concepts of honour and disgrace'.

The People's Daily published a commentary yesterday urging cadres to make a genuine effort to solve daily livelihood problems faced by the masses and stop paying lip service to the idea of serving the people. It criticised party cadres who spent too much time writing reports, holding long meetings and taking part in social functions but never delivering on pledges.

It acknowledged that after two decades of economic reforms, society faced 'many contradictions' that could not be ignored.

'Many cadres are still talking too much but doing so little,' the commentary said, pointing out that many cadres were not aware of the seriousness of problems and kept indulging in 'image projects' such as highways and public squares.

'The projects look majestic, apparently, but they are actually a nuisance to the people and cost a lot of money,' the paper said.

Instead of squandering public money on wasteful projects, cadres should spend more time and resources on helping people in poor and remote areas.

Last week state media published photographs of a district government in Fuyang , Anhui province , that spent millions of yuan on a huge European-style government office building. The photographs drew criticism from netizens who ridiculed the government for its indulgence.

Lin Xiaoguang , a researcher from the Central Party School in Beijing, said the articles showed the party leadership was aware of the social problems and that the political system was partly to blame.

'Our previous assessment in promoting officials focused primarily on [achievements] such as economic growth,' Professor Lin said. 'Such development is very dangerous to the party if it allows this to continue unchecked.'