Governing officials key to ruling country
Global Times | 2013-8-21 0:13:01
By Global Times
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Time and again, Chinese history has proven that the key to governing a country is not how to govern its citizens, but its officials. Although there are fewer officials than ordinary people, it is more difficult to govern officials than to rule citizens.

The collapse of past dynasties in Chinese history is mostly due to rebellions by people. But the rebellions were mainly the result of corruption at the official level or mistakes in social governance. The infighting among officials also led to turbulence in the country.

China has now entered the modern world. Its nature has changed fundamentally and the role of officials has also changed. The task of managing officials is becoming tougher, as new, urgent problems emerge.

First, a modern legal system has already been formed and is operating in today's society, but some officials' understanding of "being an official" still smacks of feudal times. They consider themselves to be above society and law, and "public servant" is only a byword for benefits.

Second, the market economy has come so fast that the people-oriented official moral system has been challenged. At the same time, the system hasn't been able to fix it.

Third, the Internet has become popular in recent years, resulting in a power that used to be invisible now standing in the public eye. Officials haven't adapted to public opinion, while public demands for officials are too idealistic. The Internet has amplified the misbehavior of individual officials, which can easily challenge the progress achieved in China's political field.

Fourth, the setting-up process for Chinese officials differs from that in the West and their responsibilities are different as well. Chinese officials have greater power, and the responsibilities of the government have also increased. Is this due to mistakes in China's power structure or the fact that Chinese society needs a strong government?

Governing officials is a tough political and social task, and in the Internet era, it is even tougher to leave the public satisfied.

In recent years, there have been mass incidents across China and negative sentiments can be heard on the Internet.

It is necessary to invest resources in maintaining social stability, but more important to govern officials.

Under China's political system, the government has taken the leading role in reforms, while officials' abuses of power and corruption expose certain problems. China has to learn from Western experience, but cannot blindly follow its style.

China has to find its own way of governing officials, which adds to its difficulties and challenges. Establishing the political concept of being an official, designating officials' motivation under the market economy and setting up an effective supervision system constitute the creation and improvement process of a complete political system. This should be the core of China's political reform.

Even today, some officials still believe their power can guarantee interests for themselves and even their families. Such ideas can only be wiped out through systematic reforms and public opinion.

The achievements of China's political reform are adding pressure to the governance of officials.

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