Chinese leader pushes officials to admit mistakes on national TV
BEIJING — Leaders worldwide may secretly envy a classic move from the Chinese president's playbook.
Tired of local officials who are corrupt, arrogant or just plain slackers? Make them confess their errors on nationwide television.
Xi Jinping hit the road last week to Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing, whose 73 million residents have built an economy the size of Colombia's. Instead of praise, Xi pushed Hebei's leaders to criticize each other — and themselves — on camera.
“Criticisms and self-criticisms are forceful weapons to solve contradictions within the party,” Xi told them in his far more important role as boss of China's ruling Communist Party.
“It's a dose of good medicine,” he said, to boost unity, rectify decadent work styles and impose “democratic centralism.”
With language and methods drawn from the often bloody rule of Chairman Mao, Xi's play reveals the party's urgent need to strengthen its appeal and legitimacy in the eyes of a population deeply cynical about officials' behavior and widespread corruption.
The unusually public self-criticism sessions last week form part of a yearlong “mass-line” campaign, which began in June, to boost ties between the party's 85 million members and the 1.3 billion Chinese people the party controls.
State broadcaster CCTV aired 24 minutes of footage last week showing Hebei's top party members, overseen by Xi, criticizing co-workers and themselves in sessions from Monday to Wednesday.
Their shortcomings included too many official banquets, illegal use of a fancy SUV and an emphasis on showy projects.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Venezuela’s Maduro says airlines wage ‘economic war’
- Sides reach out to undecided in Hong Kong
- With help from U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurds retake strategic border town
- 10,000 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan as security treaty is finally signed
- Obama, India PM forge deals on major issues
- U.S.-led strikes hit IS-held oil sites in Syria
- Iran will not halt uranium enrichment
- U.S., rebels on shaky ground in campaign in Syria
- Virus traced to mosquitoes in Latin America causes severe joint pain
- U.S.-led airstrikes hit 4 Syrian provinces
- Afghan president heads unity government poised to sign pact to keep U.S. troops