Politburo member Ma Kai, secretary general of the State Council and Chief of State for the Bureau of Letters and Calls, disclosed yesterday at a TV and telephone conference that supervision and guidance will be intensified this year to resolutely put an end to all the malpractices of “intercepting and blocking common people’s normal petition calls”.
Ma said that officials should regard the people who come to petition as their family members, and the issues raised by them as family affairs.
The national TV and telephone conference of chiefs of bureaus of letters and calls was held yesterday in Beijing. The conference disclosed that the total numbers of letters and calls in the country dropped by 11%, a reduction for eight years in a row. This year, priority will be given to the work of leading cadres at city and county levels going down to receive letters and calls so as to resolve problems on the spot at grass roots level.
In China, many petitioners visited the departments of letters and calls at higher levels everyday to appeal for redress of wrongs.
In order to prevent petitioners from reporting their complaints and grievances to the upper levels, many local governments send “petition interceptors” to intercept those petitioners and bring them back to the places of their residence by force. “Petition interceptors” even resort to violence in doing so, and are often denounced for that.
Ma Kai, who is expected to be appointed a vice premier soon, stressed yesterday that the system of letters and calls had to be further perfected to “really regard the mass of people as family members, letters from them as family letters, the issues raised by them as family affairs and the work for them as family work so as to satisfy their demands by various means.”
Since the new team of party leaders took over, they have said that they will conduct reforms in the household registration, reeducation through labour and letters and calls systems. They first announced last week that the reeducation through labour system will be abolished within this year.Sources: Singtao Daily, SCMP
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