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
- ‘Birth tourism’ business booming in China
- Missile strike destroys dairy factory in Yemen, killing 35
- Struggle continues for Iran nuclear accord
- Martial law replaced in Thailand by security order
- Iraqi forces complete recapture of Tikrit
- Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen
- Airstrikes intensify in Yemen as Egypt, Saudis consider ground forces
- Video captures Germanwings flight’s doom
- Oil platform erupts in flames off Mexico
- Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
- Iran blames U.S. drone for killing military advisers in Iraq