There’s no better picture of “democracy with Chinese characteristics” than this article on the China Daily today which states that the repeated no-show at the CPPCC by recalcitrant absentee Liu Xiang is “no hurdle” to his position. Very punny, China Daily, very punny!
The CPPCC, China’s top political advisory body, meets yearly as part of the annual “Two Sessions”, but out of the five meetings in his term as delegate, Liu has only showed up for one session from beginning to end last year. Top officials have had to come around to cover his ass from getting lambasted by concerned citizens:
“Liu asked for leave due to preparation for the London Olympic Games, which is the most important event for him this year,” said Hu Jiayan, deputy sports minister and a member of the CPPCC sports group.
“We don’t encourage him to stop training only to attend this session. That would be ‘putting the incidental before the fundamental.’ Liu was selected as a CPPCC deputy due to his excellent performances on the track. Attending the session should not affect his training.”
His frequent absences from the CPPCC sessions have drawn criticism from the public, with many saying he is not qualified to be a CPPCC deputy since he can’t fully perform his duty.
However, all the other deputies from Liu’s sports group support him.
“Liu asked for leave through the formal process”, said Hu. “We all support him.”
Before the group discussion started on Sunday morning, Liu sent a text message to Hu, expressing regrets for not being able to attend the annual session, and he has already submitted a proposal.
“It’s a great pity that I have to be absent from the Fifth Plenary Session of the 11th CPPCC and cannot participate and discuss government and political affairs with all the members of the sports group,” Liu said in the message.
“I will work hard in my training to contribute to the two sessions with my good results on track.”.