China braces for tests as new leadership completes 100 days

Beijing, Feb 21 (IANS) Change has been seen in China "though there are still tests and expectations ahead", said Chinese news agency Xinhua as the country's new leaders complete 100 days of governance.

It has been nearly 100 days since the new leaders of China's ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) took the helm.

"Changes have been seen, though there are still tests and expectations ahead," said a report in Xinhua. The report did not elaborate on the nature of tests and expectations it anticipated ahead.

On Nov 15, 2012, the leadership was elected a day after the 18th CPC national congress concluded, and they made their first public debut the same day.

The inaugural speech by Xi Jinping, the new general secretary of the CPC Central Committee is still frequently talked of by Chinese people.

The 100th day of the leadership's reign, which falls Feb 22, is a good time for retrospection and for looking forward as well, said Xinhua.

Xi and the other six newly-elected members have followed a very tight timetable in their first 100 days of rule.

They made many inspection tours of poverty-hit rural areas, sitting on brick beds, chatting with farmers and learning the real situation.

They convened many efficient, down-to-earth but frugal meetings, and promulgated a series of practical and to-the-point policies and measures.

Their jargon-free speeches have become popular soundbytes.

The new CPC leadership also adopted an unusually tough tone when pinpointing the urgency to fight corruption.

Xi vowed to battle against graft, saying "power should be restricted by the cage of regulations" at a CPC disciplinary watchdog meeting Jan 22.

The party should swat "tigers" and "flies" at the same time by dealing with officials' illegal activities on one hand and on the other tackling more trivial malpractice, which nevertheless closely impacts upon the people, he said.

Xi vowed a fight against privilege, and "no exceptions" when it comes to party disciplines and law.

"We must not relax the use of penalties if we want to rule party members strictly," he said.

Xi also urged the party to be more tolerant of criticism and receptive to the views of non-communists Feb 6 at a gathering convened to extend Lunar New Year's greetings to people from non-communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and those without party affiliations.

"The CPC should be able to put up with sharp criticism, correct mistakes if it has committed them and avoid them if it has not," he said.

Xi chose south China's Guangdong Province, which served as the testing ground for reform and opening up policies more than 30 years ago, as the destination of his first inspection tour outside of Beijing after he took office, vowing no stop in reform and opening up.

During his other two inspection tours outside of China's capital, Xi visited impoverished areas in north China's Hebei province and northwestern Gansu province.

Indo Asian News Service

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