By Michael Evans.
Image credit: China Daily
In the second meeting of the CCP’s new Politburo, Party leaders have issued a call for officials to cut back on lavish ceremonies and to avoid extravagant self-promotion.
New guidelines state that leaders should cut down on travel across the country, urging officials to focus on visits to regions most in need of government attention, and scale back both the ceremony and the size of the entourage that accompany their travels.
The document specifically mentions red banners, flower arrangements, and red carpets as needless extravagances to be done away with in the future.
The Politburo called on news media to reduce coverage of leaders’ activities and, instructed leaders not to publish their writings.
China’s top leaders pledged that they themselves would lead by example:
“The behavior of the leadership, particularly the top leadership, has a big impact on the overall climate for the party and government as well as society at large,” said a statement carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday. “What you ask of others, first do yourself. What you tell others not to do, you must absolutely not do.”
The statement, however, contained no indication of how the new guidelines would be enforced, leading some to question its potential impact.
“If [Xi Jinping] really wants to do this it’s not going to be easy,” wrote one Weibo user quoted by the South China Morning Post. “We’ll have to listen to his words and watch his actions.”
This pronouncement wouldn’t be the first time top officials have issued well-meaning decrees that have little effect on reality, as The Times‘ Huang Lisha points out:
Don’t be 2 excited about the red carpet thing. In 1989, the central committee even forbade senior leaders’ children from doing business.
— 莎莎/Huang Lisha (@huanglisha) December 5, 2012