Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wishful thinking and some statistics

President Xi announces the end of a mass line campaign. Goals, he said, were achieved and he offered some statistics as proof. The language of the speech sounds like propaganda that the leaders want to believe.

Xi says "mass-line" campaign just the start
Chinese President Xi Jinping said… that the "mass line" campaign had played an important role in the Communist Party of China's (CPC's) drive to tighten Party discipline.

The significance of the campaign would manifest itself in time…

"Mass line" refers to a guideline under which CPC officials and members are required to prioritize the interests of the people and exercise power on their behalf. Based on arrangements made at the 18th National Congress of the CPC in November 2012, the campaign began in June 2013 with an aim of cultivating closer ties with the people.

As promised, there was a thorough cleanup of undesirable work styles, with officials required to reflect on their own work and correct any bad practice.

President Xi
Xi said the… campaign enhanced the Party's prestige and image among the populace; Party members and the people become more cohesive. The campaign had realized its desired goals and concluded with great achievements.

Through the campaign, official meetings were reduced by 586,000, almost 25 percent fewer than in the period before the campaign began. Over 160,000 phantom staff were removed from the government payroll and almost 115,000 vehicles taken out of illicit private use and returned to exclusive regular government affairs. Construction of 2,580 unnecessary official buildings was stopped.

Systems to solidify those results are in place to ensure the effects of the campaign last. In the past year, spending on officials' travel, use of government vehicles, and construction of official buildings have been strictly regulated.

"The close of the campaign is not the end of good work styles," Xi told the meeting… He called for the "mass line" to be a continuing aspect the Party's ties with the people.

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