'Power of officials should be for the people'

CHINA - Officials' power is granted by the people and should be used for the people, and that power must be exercised in the open, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi made the remarks during his visit to the Hebei provincial department of civil affairs on Friday morning, the second day of his inspection tour in the province.

At the social welfare and social affairs section of the department, Xi viewed a wall adorned with the names and duties of officials and workers.

He said officials who do not observe rules and principles and abuse their power for private gain are doing a disservice to the people, adding that rules and regulations should not be "ignored by the officials".

Xi listened to provincial officials' opinions and suggestions on the latest campaign initiated by the Party's central authorities last month to create closer ties with the public.

The year-long campaign requires Party and government officials to eliminate hedonism, excessive bureaucracy and extravagance.

Xi said that only by getting closer to the public will officials cultivate feelings toward the people and be able to serve them wholeheartedly.

Officials should view the public as their teachers, he said. They should learn from the public and play a leading role in addressing their problems, he said.

On Thursday morning, Xi visited and talked with residents in Zhengding county, where he served as Party chief between 1983 and 1985. Xi told the residents that he came to see and hear from them and to get "recharged" from conversing with them.

On Thursday afternoon, Xi visited Xibaipo, a small village where Party leaders lived for 10 months in 1948 while preparing for the Communist Party of China's new role as the nation's ruling party.

Recalling the country's revolutionary history could bring a "positive energy" to Party members, Xi said.

Su Zhenguo, Party chief of Tuntou village, Meihua county, Hebei province, said fairness at work and close bonds with the people has become the new motto for all of the 113 Party members in the village.

"We know the importance of close ties with residents quite clearly because they usually tell us their opinions directly," he said. "With smooth channels to the higher leading members, the people will show stronger motivation after their particular demands are satisfied."

Gao Xinmin, a politics professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said that the Party wants to improve its image and create closer ties with the people through the campaign.

"The people don't tolerate high public expenses on receptions, officials' overseas trips and so on, and this campaign is expected to meet the people's demand to some extent," she said.