Local govt asks civil servants to only use ‘comrade’ as salutation

2016-11-24 01:22:29 GMT2016-11-24 09:22:29(Beijing Time) Global Times

A local government in Central China's Henan Province has asked all of its civil servants to address each other only as "comrade," in a bid to strengthen political life within the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Henan Business Daily reported on Tuesday.

The Xinxiang government said in a circular released on November 18 that all of the civil servants in the city, regardless of their rank, should only be addressed as comrade in all documents and official meetings.

"The move will help curb paternalism and sectarianism that have spread within the Party during the last three decades since the reform and opening-up," Su Wei, a professor at the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee Party School, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Su said that the order follows the norms of political life within the Party under the new situation, which was set forth at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee that took place from October 24 to 27.

Su revealed that Party members are required to fully implement the norms in order to improve the political ecology within the Party from the grass-roots level. 

"In fact, the salutations were changed in official documents weeks before the order was issued," an anonymous local government employee told the newspaper.

The newspaper said the new norm also covers the Party chief of Xinxiang, Shu Qing, who used to be called by his official title but is now addressed as "Comrade Shu."

A subdistrict of Jiujiang district, under the city of Wuhu, Central China's Anhui Province launched a series of activities to promote the use of comrade among CPC members, with the aim to "purify the Party." 

General Secretary of CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping advocated simple and clean interpersonal relationships within the Party at a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in June, people.cn reported.

Addressing each other as comrade will help promote equality and mutual trust among CPC members; and it will also help strengthen political life within the Party and set an example for purifying social conduct, the people.cn report said.

According to the report, there is a worrying tendency within the CPC to address Party leaders as "boss."

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