Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rule of Ideology and Loyalty

Chinese President Xi tells local officials what he expects of them. Does he really mean rule of law? Or might he mean loyalty or ideological purity? Or does he mean that he expects them to be popular?

(Obscure Marxist reference: The explanation that "Experts said counties played a key role in connecting the grassroots with the upper echelons of the state… " sounds very much like the early industrial revolution analogy of "transmission belts" that Marx, Lenin, and Stalin referred to.)

Xi stresses role of county Party chiefs
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday lauded the role of county level governments, however, he underscored the integral role officials played in ensuring efficiency…

Xi said county-level governments had taken on more responsibility in the implementation of reform measures, the promotion of rule of law and the enforcement of strict Party discipline. Thus, Party chiefs must acknowledge their authority and exercise self-discipline in their work.

Counties are the joints that link the higher and lower levels of the Party and the government, Xi said, adding that county-level CPC committees were the "front-line headquarters" and county Party chiefs the "front-line commanders in chief"…

Experts said counties played a key role in connecting the grassroots with the upper echelons of the state, and the seminar showed efforts were being taken to consolidate primary-level authorities for the betterment of the whole country…

Loyalty to the Party, Xi stressed, is the most important criterion for assessing county Party chiefs and key posts at this level must be filled by those committed to the Party.

County Party chiefs will be surrounded by temptation. Without loyalty to the Party to ground them, they could be distracted by offers of money, sex or power, Xi warned.

"You must remember that you are the CPC's county Party chief and you report to the CPC," Xi said.

County cadres must steer their organizations along the right political path, as they themselves must follow the Party line and uphold their responsibilities to the CPC, Xi said.

Chu Songyan, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the seminar aimed to strengthen governance from the ground up.

"There is a Chinese saying that goes 'to run the country well, you must first start at the county'. [Which is similar to the] adage: 'A stable country comes with the stability of counties and prefectures'," said Chu.

"Whether a county is governed well is reflected by public opinion ," Chu added…

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