More Chinese bureaucrats complain of 'exhausting' wining and dining

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 12:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 2:03pm

An unlikely group of individuals may also be heralding Xi Jinping's pledge to curb expensive red carpet pomp, initially a bid to defuse public anger over graft.

The vice-mayor of a certain “mountainous city” in southern China’s Guangxi province told reporters from the People’s Daily earlier this week that he was “sick to death” of attending multiple meetings and reception dinners in a single day.

In one day, the vice-mayor said, he had to attend two meetings on finance and taxation to discuss fiscal matters; and three inspections from the central government inspection teams to discuss administration issues and investment in an autonomous region. To add to his misery, he also had to attend three dinner banquets.

Official receptions are a regularity at this time of the year in China, as members of the National People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference carry out their annual leadership appraisals and inspections.

“These people are all our guests. A lot of them actually come for work and to help our city, we cannot offend them,” he said.

The incident drew parallels with a similar case last month in which a mid-level government official complained of having to receive guests at a sauna and spa, eight times in a single day. He also had to eat four breakfasts in one morning.

According to the People's Daily report, many officials involved in the fancy receptions and banquets say they are so busy running around drinking baijou here and there, that by the time they get home, they forget that they haven’t actually eaten at all.

Nonetheless, netizens are still angry and seem to have taken the official's words as a gaffe.

“Using public funds to hold banquets is indeed a very tiring job,” one blogger wrote sarcastically on micro-blogging site Sina Weibo.

“What a troubled world…while people all over are starving, these public ‘servants’ are eating N number of meals a day and complaining,” another posted.

News reports of corruption and malpractice amongst high-level Chinese bureaucrats are commonplace in the media nowadays but not many people know of the “bitter” difficulties the less endowed “grass-roots leaders” face, the news report claimed.