Hebei leaders hold criticism forum

By Zhang Xiaobo Source:Global Times Published: 2013-9-27 0:53:12

Members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hebei Provincial Committee pointed out shortcomings of their coworkers and of their own during three-day sessions that ended on Wednesday.

This was part of what Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called for in asking all Party members, especially leading officials, to constantly engage in criticisms and self-criticisms to solve the Party's problems.

During the sessions, Zhou Benshun, Party chief of Hebei, reviewed his own shortcomings by saying that he has been rushing, does not always prioritize the people's benefits, sometimes makes decisions based on subjective views and has a lax will and is not firm enough.

When "criticizing" Tian Xiangli, a standing committee member, Zhou said Tian is impatient and has been eager to prove himself by getting agreement and recognition from his superiors.

"Criticisms and self-criticisms are forceful weapons to solve contradictions within the Party," said Xi, who also participated in the sessions.

He also urged Party members to courageously and constantly relay criticisms and self-criticisms so as to boost unity and implementation of democratic centralism.

The method of "criticisms and self-criticisms," widely seen as a renaissance of traditional Party campaigns, was started by Mao Zedong during the Yan'an Rectification Movement in the 1940s.

The campaign, which sought to modify incorrect working styles and proved successful and effective in Mao's era, is also part of Xi's attempt to regulate the Party.

"This is a self-disciplined method to solve the Party's internal problems," Wang Zhanyang, professor with the Central Institute of Socialism, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that the most effective way to solve these problems was to improve the rule of law and democracy, and put restraints on public power.

However, this is a long-term task, and conducting such a self-disciplined campaign is not expected to have an instant impact on the Party's regulation, Wang said.

The sessions in Hebei are also parts of the Party's ongoing one-year "mass line" campaign launched in June, which seeks to boost ties between Party officials and the people, and modify the Party's undesirable working styles, including formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

Xi also insisted that the "mass line" campaign should not tail off once it gets started.

Many Net users questioned the effect of the "criticisms and self-criticisms" saying that it might finally become another round of formalism.

"It is not practical to order all provincial regions to follow what Hebei did, as the development among regions is unbalanced," Wang said, adding that formalism is inevitable especially in some low-level Party committees which are far away from the Central Committee.

"But it is a positive thing to improve the overall work style, as it is always better late than never," he noted.

Xinhua contributed to this story

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