China's new leaders discourage "script reading"

2012-12-03 08:57:15 GMT2012-12-03 16:57:15(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Yuan Yue, Sina English

"Instead of reading script in the conference, we should talk directly and plainly." The requirement from three members of the newly-elected Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has recently not only caught media's attention but also won tremendous support from the grassroots.

Xi Jinping: China needs more action, less talk

"Making empty talk is harmful to the nation, while doing practical jobs can help it thrive," noted Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, in his November 29 speech when visiting "The Road toward Renewal" exhibition in Beijing, according to a Xinhua report.

China used to be a country of "doers", but it is now changing into a country of "talkers", which is significant, as talking in itself is a symbol of democracy, Global Times commented on the remark, but too much talk with little action is by no means encouraging, as empty talk would, instead, erode the national morale.

The article thinks we need to spare more effort in "actions": Xi's emphasis on hard work directly points to China's present and future.

China needs comprehensive modernization, opening-up and a diversity of public opinions, but it also needs down-to-earth actions.

Wang Qishan: In my meeting, please talk short

Xi is immediately echoed by Wang Qishan, the anti-corruption chief of the CPC, when he was presiding a meeting on anti-graft work in Beijing, as he prohibited the attendees from script reading, which is a standard practice at meeting at varying levels, on November 30.

The meeting held almost annually since 2000, where the Commission for Discipline Inspection would invite dozens of experts to offer comments and suggestions for the party's anti-corruption work.

"I hope everyone can talk without notes. You can summarize your ideas or key points, and leave more time for us to discuss." Wang said. According to The Beijing News, an influential newspaper in China's capital, the atmosphere in the meeting was "refreshing".

"Wang urged the experts to give more suggestions, and restrain ourselves from just reading," notes Zhou Shuzhen, a professor with Renmin University of China, who was present. "He said he has read through all the materials, what he needs are fresh ideas."

"It is a lot easier to talk long than to talk short," Wang pointed out. "In a meeting I summoned, will have to learn to think, and to summarize."

Wang said if we want to improve the quality of meetings, we have to start from now. "We are against formalism and bureaucratism," he stressed. "I hope in the future, we can have more and deeper discussions with experts."

Li Keqiang interrupts script reading

Similar scenario happened in a meeting presided by China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang, as he also required speakers to "get rid of scripts" at a discussion about pilot reforms in some of China's provinces on November 21.

A CNTV report says Li cut off the delegate from central China's Hunan Province during his reading, and raised a slew of practical questions for him to answer.

"Since we are having a discussion here, I hope you can pay more attention to specific questions, and also tell me specific ideas to push the reform forward." Li was cited as saying.

"Speech script is far from enough if you are to attend a meeting presided by the Vice Premier," remarked an official who was then present. "We have to equip ourselves with profound and detailed knowledge of our work, and get prepared to answer his impromptu questions."

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Editor: Yu Runze
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