People’s Daily Article Criticizes Leaders Who Fear to Assume Responsibility

This January 9th People’s Daily report reminds me of stories about people in this or that Chinese government office using the official stamp to “approve” something.  No traceable signature, just the office stamp. Another way to avoid responsibility. Or at times even taking the stamp and ‘approving’ something anonymously without authorization.

This practice has  advantages for people living amid political instability, unpredictable political campaigns and worries that local leaders will make use of a campaign to settle local scores, I imagine.

Another sign that officials are scared by the continuing anti-corruption campaign crackdowns.  Not that fighting corruption, like democracy is not “a good thing”.  Cracking down in a charged atmosphere where innocent people can easily be swept up creates fear.  Just like in Bo Xilai’s Chongqing. I remember even seeing an editorial in a Chinese magazine talking about the lack of due process in Bo Xilai’s Chongqing (that was the sense, don’t remember the exact wording) and adding that many innocent people were being punished.


 Summary: People’s Daily: Chinese officials instead of making a decision on allocating resources just write “handle according to policy”. Signing things means taking responsibility. If officials are being vague even about signing things, who then will assume responsibility for reform and development?  Having leading cadres who shoulder their responsibilities is even more important than have a mature set of policies and regulations.
来论
人民日报:领导签意见岂能模糊
四川盐亭  李长安
2017年01月09日04:03  来源:人民网-人民日报
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最近,年轻干部小李遇上了闹心事。单位派他去省城参加纪检干部培训,小伙子学习刻苦,被评为优秀学员。没想到回单位报销差旅费时,主要领导签字为“同意按标准支付”,出纳硬是没弄明白究竟是同意还是反对,到现在也不敢支付差旅费。
现实中,有小李一样遭遇的还真不少。到机关事务局申请公车,领导意见不是“同意派车”而是“严格按政策执行”;申请工作调动,领导意见不是“同意调出”而是“同意按规定办理”……从一般意义而言,按政策执行、按规定办理没有问题,但是领导干部应该懂政策、明规定,并且就同意还是反对,对照政策、规定给出明确的答复。如果笼统说按政策执行、按规定办理,那就相当于把是否符合政策、规定的判断权下移,试图用一个模糊的意见转移责任。
说到底,签字就要负责,笼统签字还是不负责任、缺少担当的表现。话说回来,如果领导干部连签意见都笼统模糊、责任下移,又如何担起改革发展的责任?从这个意义上来说,比熟悉政策、规定更重要的,或许是增强担当意识。
《 人民日报 》( 2017年01月09日 05 版)
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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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