The Communist Party leadership has rolled out a raft of pledges to revamp the working style of senior officials, calling for fewer empty words and a lower-key treatment of top leaders in an effort to win back "lost trust".
A meeting of the party's Politburo yesterday, chaired by new party general secretary Xi Jinping, pledged to reduce ostentation and bureaucratic visits, meetings and talks. Xi also gave a speech on a separate occasion yesterday, commemorating the 30th anniversary of China's constitution, in which he said that no organisation or individual should be put above the constitution.
In a statement issued after its meeting, the Politburo said it would scrap or restrict traffic controls arranged for leaders' trips to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public, state broadcaster China Central Television reported in its main newscast last night.
The statement said the party would also reduce or restrict airport welcoming and seeing off ceremonies for visiting leaders and cut spending and the number of escorts for leaders on official domestic and overseas visits. The leadership also took aim at wordy meetings, saying the arrangements for national meetings of officials and major events would be strictly regulated and improvements made to the efficiency of official conferences and the issuing of official documents.
"We will make clear our determination to improve our style of work and to solve the problems that the masses are particular discontented with," the statement said. "The style of officials, particularly top officials, has an important impact upon the style of the party and the style of the government and even on the whole of society.
"Such a working style must first start with the members of the Politburo. If you want people to do something then do it yourself first; if you don't want somebody to do something then certainly do not do it yourself."
Analysts said the statement, issued just over two weeks after the party's leadership transition, reflected the new leadership's desire to win back people's trust in government - but it would take time to see if the measures could be implemented.
"The measures reflect the new leadership's understanding of public sentiment and the increasing role of public opinion in the formulation of government policy," according to Ma Guoxian , a political affairs analyst and director of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics' Public Policy Research Centre.