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
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russia seeks 10 years in prison for Putin foe Navalny
- Pakistan resumes executions in response to Taliban school massacre
- Korean-American aid worker charged in China
- Clashes delay rescue of Yazidis off Mt. Sinjar
- In Mideast, refugee babies left stateless
- How are migrants sneaking into the EU? Through Hungary
- 8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia
- Taliban siege at Pakistani school ends with 141 dead
- Putin confident in financial recovery, tells Russians West cannot ‘chain the bear’
- Cezanne likely to attract bidders
- Lawmakers label U.S. airstrikes insignificant response