Tuesday, September 23, 2008
But you ask: Li and Meng are both senior officials. If factional logic holds, Hu should be trying to save them, not fire them. I think they are small pawns because Meng's career is basically ruined after he got fired from the mayor post of Beijing during SARS. It would have been hard for Hu to elevate him beyond governor level in any event. Li Changjiang's career is basically over also at the age of 64. He would have had to retire in any event next year, so having him resign one year earlier is no big deal for Hu. You can bet that if a mining accident happens in a province governed by one of Hu's younger proteges, like Hu Chunhua or Liu Qibao, there would not be any resignations.
Blitz against Chinese officials follows milk, other scandals
www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-22 20:31:45 Print
By Cheng Zhiliang, Ji Ming, Cheng Yunjie
BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top quality control official, Li Changjiang, resigned on Monday over the tainted milk scandal, becoming one of the highest-ranking officials punished after the acclaimed Olympics.
Just eight days ago, Shanxi Province Governor Meng Xuenong resigned over the fatal landslide at an illegal mine. Also sacked were a vice governor of Shanxi, the Party chief and mayor of Hebei's capital city Shijiazhuang, and Party and government officials in Xiangfen and Linfen of Shanxi.
These departures represent the biggest step China has taken to remove responsible officials from their posts after 2003, when many officials were punished over the outbreak of the SARS epidemic. Observers said this blitz showed that the central government was on the alert for unexpected developments and was acting on problems straightaway through reform.
The Chinese leadership admitted the existing system of administrative management had some aspects that were not compliant early this year, saying pursuing further administrative reform is "imperative".
They listed those unsuitable aspects, such as insufficient change in government functions, excessive administrative interference in micro-economic operations, and relatively weaker social management and public services.
The resignation of Li, former head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, came three days after President Hu Jintao, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CPC), reprimanded” some officials" over work and food safety accidents this year.
These accidents indicated that some cadres lacked a sense of responsibility and had loose governance, and some paid no attention to people's problems and complaints and were even insensitive to life-threatening problems, Hu said.
"The punishments blew the whistle for officials, telling them that governments at all levels must operate according to the scientific outlook of development. It will also act as a breakthrough point in the ongoing administrative reform, as all those unfit for their positions will be fired," said Wu Zhongmin, professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
The scientific outlook of development, which was first raised in 2003 and inscribed into the Party Constitution last year, puts people first in the process of development and aims at comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development.
However, the interests and security of the people did not receive due attention from officials in the above-mentioned accidents.
A father complained about tainted milk powder after his 13-year-old daughter developed kidney stones after drinking the powdered milk in May. The Department of Health of Gansu Province received a hospital's report of 16 infants suffering from kidney stones after drinking the same formula in July.
However, the scandal was covered up until September. A total of12,892 infants across China have been hospitalized with the effects of tainted milk powder as of Sunday morning, and at least three babies have died, according to the Ministry of Health.
Long before the Sept. 8 landslide in Shanxi Province, in which 265 people have been confirmed dead, local villagers had reported an unsteady dam at the mining dump to the Xiangfen county government on Feb. 27. However, the county government officials ignored these reports and took no measures against the dump.
"In some areas and departments, there is a culture among government officials that everybody struggles for more power and shuns responsibility. This neglect of the interests of the people is totally unacceptable in the current reform of the administrative system, which aims to build a service-oriented government," said Wang Shiquan, a doctor of the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong.
www.XINHUANET.com 来源： 新华网
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